Islands and Mountains

We’re on the road again – this time, for two months.  We’ll hit California, Nevada, Utah, London Ontario, Texas, Kansas and Missouri before we head home at the end of October.

It’s a lovely time to travel.  Just after Labour Day, and much of the holiday traffic has gone back to school or work. It started raining just as we left Victoria – summer’s over there, so we have to go where summer is still. Alas, I’ve had to leave about half of my tomatoes still on the vine, green.  Tragic.

Our first night was with our friend Mary Bywater Cross on Lopez Island. She’s the one who wrote two wonderful books about quilting: Treasures in the Trunk (about the Oregon Trail) and Quilts of the Mormon Migration. I wrote “A Quilt and a Kettle” about one of her stories.

This first day was not a long day of driving.  Mostly, we sat on the ferry!  It was coincidental with the Lopez Island Artists Studio tour, and we visited Gerry Newcombe’s home and studio to see how he makes his cast glass masterpieces. You can see them too at  There, he fully describes his process to make these one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Lovely.

Before we settled into Mary and Newman’s beautiful spot for the night, we took advantage of an oyster and champagne tasting at a local farm.  Yum!  They also raise turkeys, chickens, and pigs at the farm, and there were lots of new piglets running around.  Cute!

Three of about 20 2-week old piglets with one of the moms

Three of about 20 2-week old piglets with one of the moms

Mary and Newman have a lovely house by a lagoon, and have rebuilt the deck to incorporate some quilting patterns. 

fall tour 2009 013a

Then we hit the road, heading south. A night with our friends Mary and Dusty and Dorothy in Salem OR (great new game of Apples to Apples, Mary!), then back on the I-5. When I left home, I was wearing long sleeves and long pants.  As we got closer to California, I started peeling off layers.  It was hot and summery.

Wrightwood California was our first gig. It is up in the San Gabriel mountains north and a bit east of LA. Beautiful area, with lots of tall pines, friendly people and clear air, at least the day we were there.  It is bushfire season and there is a huge one burning just east of there. The day before had been smoky, but it was lovely when we arrived. We didn’t see any fires, but there was lots of activity by fire fighters in evidence.

We were very well received by the Pine Needles Quilt Guild. What a great group!  It’s my favourite size of quilt guild, about 50 members, because everyone can get to know each other.  Wrightwood seems to be a very close-knit community.  Everyone said hello to us with a smile as we walked along the street.  In the winter, it’s a ski area, but this time of year has a slower pace.

The next morning I taught my Reverse Applique class to about 10 students. Three of them were very keen girls, two of whom didn’t have much experience with the sewing machine.  Regardless, they still produced beautiful pieces!

My youngest students

My youngest students

Yesterday we drove down to San Marcos to enjoy a week off.  We’ll head north again in 7 days to sing in Palmdale, and do an applique class for them. In the meantime, we’ll get some work done (hexagons await!), do some sightseeing and connect with some friends in the area.

2 Responses to “Islands and Mountains”

  1. Daphne Greig Says:

    Great to heard your news – will keep checking in regularly!

  2. Louise Parsons Says:

    My first time in a looong time to your blog. WOw!!! Hope you’re tour is as much fun as my lessons in Victoria 🙂

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