FRIDAY the 7thI should have taken a picture of the FAB retreat logo that Pam had made up. She printed it off on the computer and then added on a separate piece of paper "OR BUST" and stuck it in the back window of her HHR. Anyway, it was raining a bit when we pulled on Friday morning and headed on to Portland. We were trying to get to Fabric Depot to meet Pat and her daughter Michelle and Norma and her mom Mayvis at 2 p.m. but had warned them the night before we may be a little late depending on traffic.
A lovely drive over---we stopped at the Umpqua lighthouse, drove through Reedsport and then started inland towards Eugene and I-5. We met some bicyclists along the route so there must have been a planned ride for the weekend. We passed the Dean Creek Wildlife Area, an elk reserve along the way. I did get a few pics of them from the road. Pam pointed out the Cascade Mountains to the right as we traveled up I-5.
A stop for lunch along the way and we got into Fabric Depot at about 1:30--ahead of time. We spotted a black car with BC plates and were just sure that Norma and Mayvis were there! The plan was to walk up behind them and surprise them. We must have skulked around inside, not even looking at the fabric displays for at least 15 minutes looking up and down for them. Finally we gave up and Pam called their cell. Mayvis reported they were "6 kilometers away" and we had to confess that we already at the shop waiting for them. I checked in with Cher as we had promised to do as a head's up but first I had mis-dialed and got my pal Cindy in TN first, LOL. Of course when I recognized her voice, I told her it was nice to talk to her but she was right---I had the "wrong" number.
I started shopping mostly for landscape fabrics for the lighthouse patterns I had purchased. I was at the cutting table starting my tab when over my shoulder I saw Norma and Mayvis come in! Big hugs all around. But where was Pat? Another phone call made---she was in the store---well, wave your arms or something as I don't see you. More hugs all around! Pam was in the decorator fabric aisle so we got her over to the area we were standing shortly thereafter.
I had some challenge fabric to dispense to the group for FAB challenge #3. The night before Pam and I had come up with the idea to just cut off a charm for each of them and give them the challenge of finding some fabric at Fabric Depot to go with the periwinkly blue/lavender tone on tone print. It looks a bit like "winter sky" to us so she called it "Baby, It's Cold Outside". We came up with some goofy rules for the round---like procrastinate till the week before it is due as it is the FAB way. More or less, it was to make what you want and who to send it to this round. Cher wasn't with us so she got to pull yardage from her stash that went with her charm. Little did they know that they had more waiting for them!
Pam left a bit before the rest of us had checked out to run over to her son's home where she would be staying. With the help of Garmin in Norma's car and Pat's newly acquired phone GPS we found our way over to Cher's and the dinner she had prepared for us. Later she did a bed turning for us and of course, we toured her home and the lovely garden areas she and Martie have. (Martie and Zoe their dog had headed to the beach for the weekend--get out the way of those crazy quilters!)
You are no doubt looking for some pictures? The following are some that I took over the weekend----it was the FABs+2
Norma's mom Mayvis scrapbooking and keeping Michelle company as she stamped cards
Pat's husband does not want her (or their daughter's) image online in a public area so Pam is helping to preserve her identity.
Our hostess Cher sewing with me in the living room. Later on Saturday her son and that sweet little granddaughter came by but Cher can post those pictures on her blog should she chose.
Pam and I gave the FABs+2 the beach themed gift bags we had prepared on Friday evening along with the remaining 1 yard of challenge fabric. Cher had some surprises with some Sisterhood of Quilters panels for us. I am forgetting something, I know but I'll get my memory jogged when I get my box back. Norma, some Canadian maple leaf fabric wrapped around Coffee Crisp bars and held together band with a little maple leaf pin. I also had a couple of birthday present items since my birthday as coming up on Monday--later on those.
SATURDAY the 8th
The group sewing project we had chosen for the retreat was Strip Twist GE-140. Pat and Norma have both shown a few blocks on their blogs ahead of the retreat so they had an idea of how many strips to cut. I was using a hearth and home fabric kit with fat quarters from Connecting Threads for my blocks so kind of a fall look to my blocks. Pam was using a Mama's Cotton jelly roll also from Connecting Threads and she had a 30's thing going. Pat was alternating reds and greens with a poinsettia center so hers has a Christmas looks while Norma picked up on the greens, reds, oranges, browns of a large chicken print and is going bed-sized. Cher was probably the one working the most out of her element in blues and mauvey-purple with a mix of centers for a lap quilt for a friend who could use a comfort quilt.
BUT somehow some of us got a little sidetracked, LOL. Pam was apparently convinced by Norma to buy some gorgeous floral print with orange, purple, golds for a 4 patch posie. At one point on Saturday afternoon I grabbed the yardage and began lining up the repeats and then cutting it out for her. Norma had to remind me just how to cut between the repeats since neither of us had the pattern with us. I kept stacking the groups of four squares by her machine. She kept pushing the piles toward Norma, LOL. The next thing I know, Norma was stitching up blocks---and Pam was pressing them. So the joke is that this top is a group effort leaving Pam to assemble the top and Pat will volunteer to quilt it for her and Cher, bind it. I think we all should get a chance to use this quilt, don't you?? I didn't post a picture in this post but one of us will, LOL.
Other activities? Besides laughing and yakking? Cher and Pam are big time players of Farmtown on Facebook. Along the line Mayvis was introduced into how to play the game and was hooked up as their neighbors. Cher mostly was showing her the ropes but Pam had some advice as well. I also took time out to get Mayvis started on some embroidered snowman blocks--she is doing hers in black on white. I also was fiddling around with a needlepunch Norma had sent me a while back as we both want to try that craft. I did show her what I had learned but my loops need some practice!
Alice was back to visit Nona Cher on Sunday and Michelle was such a dear to play with her---that bubble solution Pam and I had put in the gift bags came in handy! Even big girls like to blow bubbles. Ask me how I know!
We did take a break from sewing and traveled to the Multnomah Village quilt shop called Fibers in Motion which is Cher's favorite area shop. I found some cool black and white pieces for my "someday" collection and a cool stripe for I am not sure what. Fun brights, oriental fabrics, brights, Kaffe Fassett, batiks, Valori Wells, etc. Since it was approaching lunch time, we walked over to Marco's for lunch. Pat bought the pizzas for the evening meal---Papa Murphy's, I believe, as we baked them up at the house for supper with leftovers for Sunday lunch. Thanks, Pat!
SUNDAY the 9th
Pam had intended to get an early start back south on Sunday morning but I think Ryan and Chris had other plans about that part. She had said her goodbyes to the FABs Saturday evening. Sunday morning, Norma, Mayvis, Pat and Michelle came back over to Cher's for more sewing. Cher moved her blocks along. I got one block of each of the colors done--12 of them I think. (I can't find the picture I took of them to prove that point.) Norma wants a bedsized quilt and had a big stack done and kept stitching. Pat had her blocks done by then and moved on to green scrappy Mile a Minute blocks. I dug through one of Cher's strip baskets, with her permission and pulled out some more green bits that she could add to the mix. Even a bit of tan that will work with MY strip twist blocks.
Norma and her mom were leaving for BC early on Monday morning while Pat and Michelle were staying, like me, till Tuesday morning when we would catch the same plane down to DFW. They all headed off before supper to get back to pack and/or wind down for the evening. Later Cher, Alice and I went out to Red Robin for supper---mac and cheese for Alice and fish and chips for the big girls.
MONDAY the 10th
Pat and Michelle had plans to go to the beach on Monday--their first foray earlier in the week got them to a rocky beach, not a sandy one, so they were going to try again once the Oregonians had some suggestions of where to go. She can fill you in on that.
After a run to the UPS store with my overloaded box, we were off on a road trip. That thing was packed with fabric, laundry that will need to be done once it arrives home, stones from the ocean, that salmon I told you about. 28 lbs!!
Cher and I were originally going to go hiking somewhere in the Columbia River gorge area but with Alice along (family emergency that weekend) we went to Multnomah Falls. See picture below. She was a little trooper and was able to handle the moderate incline on the way up. We walked up as far as the bridge you see in the picture.
A little story here as well--I was wearing my freshly laundered Auburn t-shirt and three fellows coming down from the Falls as we approached the entrance said "War Eagle!" I had kind of forgot what I had on for a minute. They were from Florida so cheered on that SEC team. I had to confess that I, as a transplant to Alabama, you were just as likely to see me with a UA shirt on too. We only picked sides when they played each other, LOL.
Just as a little info--the lower fall area is 69 ft up and the upper falls is 542 ft up. Pretty, huh?
Later that day we stopped for pizza in Beaverton and after Alice napped, off to Powells at what I think was the Cedar Mills Crossing Mall in Beaverton where I found some reading material for the flight home while Nona and Alice looked for a dinosaur book. (No luck but Martie found a copy she had wanted elsewhere) We stopped at New Seasons' market for take out food and by the time we arrived back at Cher's, Alice mom was there and joined us for supper and took Miss Alice on home. Martie was back from the beach as well. Later that evening the three of us made a run to Cheesecake Factory for dessert since I didn't have birthday cake.
TUESDAY the 11th
Pat and Michelle were back at the house bright and early at 530 to pick me up and drop off the rental car and off to the airport trom there. As I said we were on the same flight on the first leg of the return home---they were seated a few rows up from me. Pat was able to switch her assigned seat so she and Michelle could be seated in the same row and next to each other. They had a great aisle mate who pointed out that we were flying near Mt. Hood and pointed out Sister's mountains as well. And then Pat came back to tell me! The pilot was also helpful in pointing out that Boise was down below, there was Ogden UT and the Great Salt Lake and such. I could see even though I was again, in the aisle seat.
Once we got to Dallas, Pat pointed me the right direction to get on the skylink--she used to live in the area and knew the ropes. Again my t-shirt got a comment only that day I was wearing a local high school team shirt. The stewardess asked if BHM was my final destination and where was my town located? Turned out a woman sitting in the seat across the aisle from me was headed to BHM and overheard that conversation with the stewardess. She said "Calhoun County, right?" She lived just north of me by 10 miles though her husband was seated further back on the PDX to DFW leg of the trip so we hung together getting to the next gate.
No delays in either flights out or the flights home, thank heavens since I had little time in the connecting flights. I landed in BHM at 5 p.m., had no luggage to pick up but had told DJ to meet me in baggage claim anyway. It had been raining and gray clouds all the way into BHM in MS and western/central Alabama. Walking out of the airport to the parking deck was like getting slapped in the face with a wet rag. DJ had actually gotten in a some heavy rain on the way over to the airport on 1-20 but thankfully that was mostly out of the area on the way home. We stopped to get supper at a BBQ place, about 30 miles from home.
I had a super time away but it always good to be back in your own bed. I may be still adjusting to the time zone changes too but it was worth it. The FABs and I are back to talking with our fingers though Pat took off again, LOL. Thanks Mom, Dad. Pam and Ed for helping to make this dream trip possible. I know, in spite of all this writing, that I am leaving something out of all this narrative. Later I will share the FAB bag items, my fabric. See what the others have to say when they post-------
Thanks for stopping by-------