MQX part deux – the coast

MQX, for those of you reading who are not familiar with a machine quilter’s world, stands for Machine Quilters Exposition.  That is where I was with my friends last week.  When we got back from the Columbia River Gorge on Thursday, we went to dinner with a bunch of the APQS ladies (American Professional Quilting Systems – the brand of machine I own) at Stanford’s at Lloyd Center.  The food was excellent, as were the cocktails, and a few folks may have had a few too many, but that would not have been me.  I do enjoy a good drink, but am fairly temperate in consumption.

On Friday morning, Cecilia headed off to a day full of classes and Bethanne and I met a few more on line friends for breakfast.  This time, just at Denny’s across the street from where we were staying.  I know — Denny’s isn’t exactly haute cuisine, but you really can’t mess eggs up that badly, and it was convenient and inexpensive.  It was good to see Jean from Washington State and Michelle from Calgary in Canada.

After breakfast, Bethanne and I got on the road for the coast.  We took the Sunset Highway to Cannon Beach.  Please excuse the quality of the photos in this post, as they were all taken with my cell phone.  It has a great camera, but I shake too much to get good photos with it.  I had left my camera back at the hotel (doh!).

Cannon Beach


Cannon Beach little rock


We were fortunate that the tide was out and we could go out and poke about in the tidepools.  Not much in them beside barnacles and muscles, however. Further south around Newport and Florence, the tidepools teem with anemones and starfish.

We stopped in the quaint town of Cannon Beach and went to the quilt shop (Center Diamond).  We might have stayed in there a bit, except it was just freezing cold, so we opted to go get a cup of coffee.  Bethanne got to taste real NW Coffee.  If you travel with me, you know there is no stopping at Starbucks.  I absolutely loathe their coffee.  We went to the Sleepy Monk and I enjoyed their coffee so much, I’ve been considering placing an on-line order or going back to buy a bag of their beans.  It was wonderful.

Next we travelled down to Wheeler and stopped at their quilt shop, Creative Fabrics.  It’s a fun shop with lots and lots to see, but it’s also connected to a tunnel of many little shops.  We spent some time exploring fashions, jewelry, and ceramics.  Just across the street, where we parked, as a matter of fact, was a small dock.  Very representative of the coastal northwest.



I didn’t take any photos (since I was driving), but all the little coastal bays and inlets were filled with fishing boats.  The salmon are running and the boys (and, no doubt, a few girls) were out there in full force.  I wish I would have had room in the cooler to bring home some wonderful fish, but . . . I had a mission in mind for that cooler.

Just above Tillamook, we stopped at a viewpoint.  A lovely almost sunny but very misty view of the Oregon coast.

Pacific Coastline


In Tillamook, we stopped at one of my very favorite places, the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Cheese is a very large part of my diet, since I am fairly restricted to protein.  I can buy quite a bit of Tillamook Cheese at Costco.  My favorite available locally is the Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar.  There is one type of cheese, however, that is only available at the Cheese Factory — Squeaky Cheese!  Squeaky Cheese is actually cheddar cheese curds. Just lumps of fairly salty cheddar cheese, and it squeaks on your teeth when it is really cold.  I love this stuff, and when I’m going to the north coast, there’s always a cooler in the car so I can bring some home.  It stores nicely in the freezer.

We also visited Jane’s Fabric Patch in Tillamook.  This is a wonderful shop owned by my friend, Jane Wise.  One of the gals who works in the shop (I’m embarrassed to say that her name as slipped my mind) is the momma to Ozzie’s brother (from another litter, but same parents), Max.  It was great to see Jane and her dog, Rena, again.

Then it was back on the road to Portland, and an early night so I could get Bethanne to the airport at 4:45 the next morning.  It was sad to say goodbye, but we really had a good time.  I came back to the hotel, took a nap till 9:30, jumped in the shower, went and said my goodbyes at the show, and headed south.  I was home by 12:30!  It really was a great trip.

Did you miss me?

I’m home from a wonderful trip to Portland and other points in northwest Oregon.  On Wednesday, October 9th, I drove Ozzie out to stay with his cousin Kalli in Walterville and then I headed north.  My friend Bethanne was flying in from Allentown, Pennsylvania, so I picked her up at PDX and we headed into town to room with our friend Cecilia from southern California.  We met up, had a quick lunch, and Bethanne unpacked while Cecilia and I headed for a class.  We learned how to do a little impromptu art quilt design and execution right on the long arm, as opposed to making the quilt top and then loading it on for quilting.  It was a unique and fun class with Gina Perkes, a multiple-award-winning quilter.

When class was over, we headed into the show floor for the awards ceremony.  Bethanne had a quilt entered and had been advised that she won a prize, but we didn’t know what. She was in the Solo Artist category and, when they had announced third through first place and not called her name, we knew that she had won a really big prize.  Her name was not called for best machine workmanship either, so that left one very big prize, Best of Show!

Award winner

BOS BethanneI was so excited for her that I started crying when they called her name!  I know – silly, but who doesn’t want the best for their friends, especially when you know they really deserve the recognition?

Here are a few more detail shots of this absolutely gorgeous silk quilt, called The Shell Collector, piecing and quilting (hand guided) done by Bethanne Nemesh.  Also note the beaded binding and inner border treatment.  All done by stuffing pearls into a flange and tying them off, one at a time, by hand.  That takes dedication!

BOS Shell

BOS Close up

After the awards, we cruised the show preview and then headed back to the hotel for dinner and a little rest.  Here’s our view from the hotel restaurant.  The moon was out between the spires of the Convention Center.  Nothing like trying to take a photo through a glass window at night.

Dinner view with moon

The next morning, we took a good run through the quilt show.  I’ll include a few photos here of some of my favorite quilts in the show.

This is Sequoia Duckpond by Pat Durbin:

Pat Durbin Sequoia Duckpond

I don’t think I’ve ever met Pat, but this was a really cool quilt, especially the threadplay in the trees and other plants.  I almost felt as though I could reach out and touch cedar, or moss, or the actual plants.

This lovely triptych in gold, silver, and bronze is by Linzi Upton from Scotland:

Linzi's Triptych

Of course, with a name like Steller, you have to be a fan of stars, and there was a lovely feathered star in shades of my favorite color – green!  This is Green Miles by Peggy Kragnes.Peggy Kragnes Green Miles

Peggy Kragnes Green Miles detail

The detail on the quilt was gorgeous.

This quilt was embroidered and pieced by Helen Stubbings and then quilted by her sister Tracey Browning.  It is called Cornelian.

Browning Stubbings

After viewing all the quilts, doing a little shopping, and wearing our feet out, we decided to do a little sight seeing, as Bethanne had not been to Oregon before.  I took her to nearby Multnomah Falls.  This is the full falls, second highest year-round waterfall in the US:


And this is just the upper cascade, as viewed from the bridge in the photo above:

Multnomah upper

On the way back, we stopped at the Vista House, perched high on the south edge of the Columbia Gorge.  The views were all pretty muted and misty, as it wasn’t a very nice day.  But hey, it’s Oregon!

View house

The Vista House was a really cool place and I plan to return there again some day when I have more time to do some exploring.  The link above will take you to a Wikipedia page that tells a bit about its history and provides a few more lovely photos.

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about our Friday adventures to the coast!

Quilts, quilts, and more quilts!

Today will be a very busy day indeed.  I’m cleaning, doing laundry, packing, getting ready for the house and cat sitter, and getting ready to drop the dog off at his cousin’s house.  Tomorrow, I head for Portland and MQX:


This has been an annual ritual for me, going to see wonderful friends either in Portland or on the east coast (Manchester, NH or Providence, RI).  The quilts at this show are stunning – some of the very best in the industry, so if you’re in Portland, OR this week, be sure to stop by and take a look.  I will have a quilt hanging in the show and, while it is very pretty, it pales in comparison to most of what you will see there.  I didn’t do a lot of over-the-top quilting on it, but it was for my friend Beth, who pieced the top, and I really enjoyed quilting the very pretty quilt.  I entered it at the request of the show owner, and it will be nice to see it hanging with the big girls’ quilts.

Beths Quilt

Beths cornerIt’s always nice to go and meet on-line friends I’ve never seen in person.  This year I’ll stay with two friends I met previously.  I’m sure a good time will be had by all!

Summer Returns to Eugene

Well, at least for a day, anyway!  I did a bunch of chores this morning and then went upstairs to load my next client quilt.  While up there, I needed to shed my sweatshirt, as I was getting quite warm.  I’m always cold, but this was a huge quilt (108 x 128) so I thought perhaps I was working up a sweat because of the size.  I had promised Ozzie a trip to the dog park when the quilt was loaded, and I grabbed my sweatshirt, feeling sure it would be cold at the park, and came back downstairs.  Once I got outside, I could tell that no, I hadn’t worked up a sweat.  It’s just very warm here.  78°F, sunny without a cloud in the sky.  It made for quite a crowded day at the dog park, but we found a space to throw the ball and had fun anyway.

dog park Oct 6


It is supposed to cool off and start to rain later on tonight, with rain through Tuesday, then partly cloudy and in the 60’s for the rest of the week.  I hope this will mean pleasant weather for everyone coming to Portland for MQX.  It was nice of Summer to come back for a brief visit.  I think I’ll go outside and enjoy a bit more of it before it says goodbye!