Sunbonnet Sue Quilt

I started this blog two years ago with the goal of writing about my quilting. Instead, the blog has become more of a hiking and travel journal, with a side of crafting. Here, at last, is my first quilt story! It is a common lament in the quilt world that many quilts are unlabeled and their stories are lost to history. My first quilt story, which includes a bit of my history, is about my oldest, my first quilt.

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Sunbonnet Sue   68″ x 82″   by Margaret Klute 1975

Quilt Story 1: Sunbonnet Sue, 1975

My childhood best friend, Susan, moved from Minnesota to our neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley of southern California in the early 1960s. Her Mom, Sally, often gave us projects to keep us busy – everything from polishing their family’s antique whaling lamps and silver, to baking bread and cookies, to making candles, macrame and clothing.  Sally showed us how to make Sunbonnet Sue blocks when we were about 14 or 15 years old – this would have been about 1970 or 1971.

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The dress on this Sue was a scrap from a blouse I wore in high school.

We began by cutting templates out of construction paper. Then we raided our family’s overflowing scrap boxes for fabric.  Both of our moms sewed, and my sisters and I also made some of our own clothing.  We had fun choosing fabrics for the dress, bonnet, arm and shoe patches.  We sewed the pieces onto white background fabric, possibly from an old sheet, using an overcast hand appliqué stitch. We each created a stack of blocks but then lost momentum. My blocks sat in a drawer for a few years.

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In 1975 I wanted a warm quilt to take with me to college in northern California.  I made additional Sunbonnet Sues using scraps from recently made clothes, but did not have enough blocks for a bed-sized quilt.  I raided both families’ fabric stashes again and cut out 5 inch squares from a wide mix of scraps.  I sewed the squares together with half inch seam allowances, and determined a layout that would float the Sunbonnet Sue blocks between rows of patchwork.  I found a backing fabric at the discount fabric shop, and I also bought a roll of 2″ thick polyester batting.  I finagled a quilt sandwich with straight pins, and somehow managed to force the quilt under the foot of my Mom’s sturdy Kenmore sewing machine, stitching in the ditch around all the squares.  I found fabric for the binding, again from the scrap box, and attached it by hand.

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Backing fabric, which I always thought of as batik saw blades.

I brought the quilt with me to college and continued to use it for a good 20 years. I patched it and restitched much of the appliqué, and eventually the batting flattened down to about a quarter inch thick.

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Front binding close up. These fabrics include cotton, polyester, and wool; both prints and wovens; and light to heavy in weight. The edge of the middle faded pink spotted patch shows the bright original color along the seam allowance.

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The binding on the back was much wider, and hand stitched. I only added the signature recently!

Construction commentary: This quilt represents to me a big chunk of my youth – and also, I love the audacity of youth that this quilt reveals.  I finished Sunbonnet Sue in a way that made sense to me at the time. I remember thinking I didn’t need the full 5/8 inch seam allowance used for garment sewing – 1/2 inch should be plenty.  I also had  the idea that a patchwork quilt should not be made of new fabric, and should have as many different scrap fabrics as possible – though I did have the option to not use fabric that I didn’t like. There were no blogs or online tutorials – we had one Dover quilt book. I consulted my Mom, but she had never made a quilt, though she had made curtains, bed spreads and cushion covers as well as clothing. (She could also knit, crochet, tat, and change the oil and spark plugs and adjust the carburetor in an automobile engine while single handedly feeding and clothing nine children – but that’s a story for another day.) The wide seam allowances, thick batting and wide binding are not what I do today, but they worked to complete my quilt.

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The orange dress print is leftover from our Shasta travel trailer curtains. The streaky red, white and blue fabric reminds me that both tie-dye and pre-bicentennial patriotism were part of the pop culture of the time. The pink striped floral fabric is a pillow ticking weight fabric.

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The uppermost flowered patch, now needing a patch, was another favorite blouse fabric. The middle patch is an example of the psychedelic graphics of the time.

I love the personal history of the fabric in this quilt – I see mine and my sisters’ and my friends’ childhood wardrobes, with many fond memories of people, place and time. I also love that this quilt reflects what I considered at the time to be the true spirit of patchwork quilting – making something from the scraps of both material and memories. This was during the early seventies anti-establishment/anti-war/back to the land movement, which defined the paths that I and a few of my siblings would choose as young adults.  We went to war protests, dug up our lawn to plant a garden, joined a food coop, and eventually moved out of the city to northern California or Oregon. Susan never finished her quilt, but during a visit a few years ago we enjoyed looking at all the fabrics and remembering when and where we wore them when we were young. I wish I had photos of us in some of the clothes, but alas, I do not. Just the patches in this well worn quilt.

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New Years Eve hike at Cape Horn, Washington; and Farewell 2018 (18-60)

Cape Horn, Washington 12/31/2018 (Hike #66 for 2018)

We started in the middle, hiked down to the Nancy Russell Overlook and a little beyond, then hiked back up and to the top viewpoints on Cape Horn. It was cold and a bit windy, but nice to be out in the bright sun as we bid farewell to 2018. 4miles, 500 feet.

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Trail to the Nancy Russell Overlook

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View from the Fallen Tree Overlook to the eastern gorge.

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Silverstar Mountain to the north.

Quilting-

I finished three quilts this year.

Knitting-

I knit 4005 yards in 10 projects according to my Ravelry project pages.

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Hiking –

I completed 66 hikes/adventures for a total mileage of 310 miles, and 47,315 feet elevation gained. The longest hike, the 12 mile Obsidian Trail in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Central Oregon was also my favorite hike of the year. The steepest hike was Phlox Point on Hardy Ridge in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington – 2200 feet elevation gain over the 8.2 mile trail. The hardest walk was my first lap around the neurosurgery ward at OHSU after my pituitary surgery. And my favorite of our hikes in the UK was The Lizard in Cornwall.

Books Read in 2018 –

93 total, which I keep track of on Goodreads. My favorite fiction book was  Gentleman in Moscow  by Amor Towles, and my favorite nonfiction book of the year was Becoming by Michele Obama.

Blog –

This is the 60th post for the year. I am glad I am keeping it up, but I may do something different with the format next year – still thinking about it. And I still owe three posts from our trip to southern England.

Poem –

from a poetry post in my neighborhood – a hope for the future….

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Fall Equinox, Indian Heaven, WA (18-41)

East Crater Trail, 9/23/18 (Hike #53)

Indian Heaven is a landscape of lakes, cinder cones, forests and meadows in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest southwest of Mt Adams. The Pacific Crest Trail runs right through the center of the Wilderness on its northward path through southern Washington state. There are abundant wild huckleberries in late summer. By fall, the huckleberry and other foliage display a vibrant spectrum of bright colors – reds, oranges, fuchsias, magentas, yellows, yellow oranges and yellow greens that stand out in sharp contrast to the forest and lake greens and browns, and the sky blue.

Last fall the Indian Heaven Wilderness was closed due to the East Crater Fire that occurred at the same time as the Eagle Creek Fire, so we are back this year after a 2 year absence.

Today we hiked the East Crater Trail to Junction Lake in the center of the wilderness area, then completed a loop that passed several lakes and followed the Pacific Crest Trail back south to Junction Lake.

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Red huckleberry bushes in the forest

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Layers of color

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Unnamed lake just east of East Crater – the burn from last year seen beyond and above.

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Top of East Crater

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Junction Lake

So much color in the meadows!

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Ripe huckleberries

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Amanita

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Dropping down to Lemei Lake where we had our lunch:

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Lunch view

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The southbound section of the Pacific Crest trail was more forested, with views through the trees of a couple of bigger lakes.

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Bear Lake

We passed Junction Lake again, then hiked back to the trailhead.

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Huckleberry and spirea

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Mountain Ash

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Huckleberry stump

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The last little lake on the trail out.

Our total for the day:  9.6 miles/1000 feet elevation.

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Panther Creek Falls

We made a quick stop on our drive home at this massive waterfall complex – there are three creeks that tumble together into the main branch of Panther Creek.

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Quilting

I went to the Northwest Quilt Expo in Portland and purchased some fabric for my next quilt project:

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Late Summer Adventures Part 3 – Three Sisters, Oregon (18-40)

Rest Day    9-14-2018   Whychus River Overlook

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I slowly walked the easy one mile loop (#51) and contemplated distant views of mountains and close up views of the high desert forest. My legs were not up for much more today. Dan hiked down to the river and wandered there for a bit.

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Nearly flat trail through the Ponderosa forest

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Looking down to Whychus Creek

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Middle and North Sisters

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Mt Washington, Pole Creek Fire forest

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Rabbit brush

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Manzanita

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Manzanita bark

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Manzanita leaves

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“Little apples”

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Ponderosa

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Sage

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Sky

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Whychus Creek recovery team logo

 

Back in town I visited The Stitchin’ Post, a wonderful quilt store.

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Window display

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Window display

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I bought a small package of Australian-themed fabric.

On a related note, we enjoyed having a Double Wedding Ring quilt on the bed in our lodge room.

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Tam McArthur Rim    9-15-2018     (#52)

This trail provides another entrance point to the Three Sisters Wilderness, from the east toward Tam McArthur Rim along a ridge that leads toward Broken Top. We had hiked this trail in September two years ago on a clear day. Today we watched clouds cover the peaks, lifting occasionally for views. By the time we reached the top, a bitter wind was beginning to blow and the cloud cover was increasing. We didn’t stay long.

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Tam McArthur Rim and Three Creek Lake as seen from the trail

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Broken Top appears as we cross the upper plain

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Almost to the top, with Little Three Creek Lake below

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Middle and North Sisters from the End of Trail overlook

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Broken Top and South Sister from the overlook

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Closer view of the glaciers on Middle and North Sister

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All three Sisters, with clouds

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North view beyond Tam McArthur overlook. Pole Creek fire burn zone in the foreground; Black Butte beyond.

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Late blooming lupine

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Neon lichen

Lookback to our hike in September of 2016 to compare the views:

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Middle and North Sisters, September 2018

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In September 2016, on a clear day

We hiked about 5.5 miles/ 1200 feet today.

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Back to Dee Wright/Mckenzie Pass at sunset

We took our last opportunity this year to spend a little time at the lava lands of Mckenzie Pass – and one of my favorite places in the world. Despite the cold wind we wanted to see the sunset. The Sisters were still covered in clouds, but as the lowering sun streamed in from under the western clouds, Black Crater lit up a bright, ethereal red orange that seemed magical. To the west, the streaky clouds glowed pink and gold.

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Lenticular cloud over Mt Washington

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Black Crater at 7:01 pm

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Black Crater at 7:04 pm

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Clouds continue to hide North and Middle Sisters

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What North and Middle Sisters look like – from September 2016

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Sunset colors to the west

A fitting end to our late summer adventures – back to Portland tomorrow.

 

 

Welcome Blanket (18-31)

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Welcome Quilt 8-31-2018

I read about the Welcome Blanket Project a couple of months ago, and decided to make a quilt to donate as a side project to the baby quilt I was making for an expected niece. The goal of the Welcome Blanket Project is to welcome refugees and immigrants to the United States with the gift of a blanket. The project requests 40 by 40 inch knit, crochet or sewn blankets. Many of the original blankets are based on knitted half square triangles, so I decided to use a half square triangle pattern in my quilt.

In past years I participated in internet-based fabric exchanges, both on Flickr and Ravelry, which resulted in a collection of 5 inch charm squares in a rainbow of colors, and a large variety of prints. Some of the fabric squares are lovely, some are not to my taste, but all are different.

I decided to try a technique of ‘making fabric’ by sewing the charms together in random strips, cutting the strips into narrower strips, then sewing the strips together, the result being a new chunk of fabric collage. I made this chunk of red/pink/purple fabric a few years ago, but then let it sit while I was waiting for inspiration as to what to do with it.

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For this quilt I layered the ‘made fabric’ with a piece of white fabric and created half square triangles that I arranged in a star shape for the center of the quilt.

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I needed to add about 8 inches to the star to bring the quilt to the 40 inch size as requested. After auditioning several border types, I added a thin purple border, then a scrappy piano key style border using more of the 5 inch charms, plus scraps from my scrap bins.

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I wanted to include the word WELCOME somewhere on the quilt, so I sewed this  appliqué strip for the back of the quilt. The red backing fabric was leftover from making Raggedy Ann dolls for my kids when they were young. The batting was the other half of the strip I bought for the baby quilt.

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Quilting and binding: I stitched triangular spirals in the center triangles, and straight lines in the border.  I had enough overlap from the backing to create a simple wraparound binding, so that is what I did, mitering the corners for stability.

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I think the finished quilt is a perfect representative of the spirit of the WELCOME BLANKET PROJECT.  It is created from a medley of 5 inch charms from all over the world – some I like, some I don’t, but stitched together with scraps from my existing stash they work as a colorful vibrant fabric. I hope the family or individual who receives this quilt will enjoy looking at all the different fabrics that come together in this one textile made to provide both comfort and warmth to a newcomer.

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Welcome Quilt

Tour de Craft, Week 3

The Tour de France ended with a new champion, Geraint Thomas, and lots of excitement in the Pyrenees and final time trial. My one finished craft project was the Welcome Quilt. I added a few more inches to my second Cornwall sock, though I haven’t turned the heel yet.

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Cornwall Socks

I didn’t even go for a hike this week as the weather has been too hot and once again there is wildfire smoke creating haze. My sister is visiting, and we are up to our own adventures, and there will be more in the week to come.

Cascade Lakes Weekend & ‘Tour de Craft’/Week 2 (18-30)

We love hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness area just west of Bend, Oregon, and so planned a weekend of hikes. Our daughter wanted to join Dan to hike to the top of South Sister, and one of our sons decided to join them at the last minute. Dan and I drove out Wednesday evening. The ‘kids’ joined us Thursday evening, then returned home after the Friday hike. It was hot everywhere, but we had some beautiful hikes through summer meadows.

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A weekend of GPS tracks.

Green Lakes    Thursday 7/19/2018  (Hike#42)

My choice for Thursday was to hike into the Green Lakes basin between South Sister and Broken Top. It is a lovely hike along Fall Creek. The first two miles are through partially shady forest, with numerous waterfalls and cataracts to look down upon.

Eventually South Sister comes into view above the trees.

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South Sister; true summit behind Hodge Crest.

The upper trail is bound to the west by a wall-like volcanic flow studded with large chunks of shiny obsidian that glint in the sunlight.

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After two switchbacks, the remainder of the trail is lined with blooming alpine riparian plants – so pleasant to walk along that I was able to ignore the sun and the gradual climb.

Once into the Green Lakes Basin, the looming Broken Top and a view of the Hodge Crest of South Sister, as well as a peek at the top of Middle Sister to the north, surround the stunning very cold Green Lakes.

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Broken Top beyond the southernmost Green Lake

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South Sister

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Just the top of Middle Sister on the right skyline

We rested in the shade for a while, first with a view of Broken Top,

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Lunch view of Broken Top

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Zooming in…

then with a view of South Sister. From this viewpoint we can only see the Hodge Crest, which is about 300 feet lower than the true summit.

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South Sister

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Zooming in

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Zooming in more

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Artsy view with tree roots

The meadow flowers that grow on the moraine-like surface of the Green Lakes basin showed me a couple of new flowers I hadn’t seen before.

So many flowers in the meadows:

And, for the first time, I spotted a floating rock (pumice) in the wild. We used to float pumice in Intro Geology labs many years ago. Of course it must be a common occurrence in this volcanic landscape where the surface is speckled with pumice stones, but this was a first sighting for me.

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Floating pumice in Green Lake, Broken Top beyond.

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Floating pumice rock

Critters: We saw a frog in one of the creeks, and Dan was photobombed by a butterfly he was trying to photograph:

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frog

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butterfly

We retraced our steps back to the trailhead. The total for the day, 9.2 miles/1200 feet was the longest I have hiked this spring. The elevation rise on this hike is very gradual, so I found I could manage. I am glad my body cooperated today after the fail last week. It was not quite as hot here, and there was a breeze that helped.

Spa Day/Dan and Brian climb South Sister 7/20/2018

Two of our children accompanied Dan up the grueling trail (5000 feet/12miles round trip) to the top of South Sister (elevation 10,358′). I hiked part of this trail in 2015 – about 4000 feet and ten miles of it. I got to the point where I was looking over at the top of Lewis Glacier, about 1000 feet below the summit.

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2015 – My view from my turnaround point, 1000 feet below the summit of South Sister

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2015 – Lewis Glacier on South Sister and view to Green Lakes basin below Broken Top

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2015- Zoomed in view to Green Lakes, where we hiked yesterday.

Emily went about half way up today, but her running injury to her calf caused her to turn back, and so I got to spend part of my down time at the hotel with her. The guys made at the top:

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Brian and Dan on the top of South Sister, 7/20/2018. Middle and North Sisters to the immediate north. Beyond are several Cascade Peaks: Mts Washington, Jefferson, Hood and Adams

Todd and Sparks Lakes 7/21/2018  (Hike#43)  

Today we took two leisurely flat hikes, for a total of 3.5 miles.

Todd Lake

We had never been to Todd Lake before – the challenge here on a summer Saturday is to nab a parking space, but we got one, so we wandered slowly around this sparkling gem, views alternating to the east side of Broken Top and the northwest side of Mt Bachelor above the forests and wildflower meadows. It really was a perfect little stroll along the lakeshore with a nice breeze to cut the heat.

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Broken Top across Todd Lake

Polliwogs were swimming along the lake shore.

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Wildflowers in abundance along the southern shore

This inlet had both magenta and red-orange paintbrush –

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Wide meadows on the west side of Todd Lake had swaths of elephant head that were mostly past bloom, lots of paintbrush, trickling streams lined with flowers, and views to Mt Bachelor.

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We ate lunch near a trickling inlet with views of Mt Bachelor

As we walked into the forested north shore trail, the wildflower suite changed a bit.

Back to the starting point of the loop, Broken Top is in view again.

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SPARKS LAKE

Then we drove down the dusty road to the Roy Atkeson Trail at Sparks Lake. We walked a short way down the trail to the stunning viewpoints across lava rock and the shallow lake to South Sister and Broken Top from a slightly different, southern vantage point.  Hotter here, and fewer flowers, but still a worthwhile visit.

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South Sister and Broken Top from Sparks Lake

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Dan, South Sister

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Broken Top

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The flowers:

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Dee Wright Observatory    7/22/2018

On our drive home on Sunday, we took a side trip to McKenzie Pass to this famous lookout in the lava fields between the Three Sisters and Mt Washington.  I love the expansive views and sere landscape.

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Dee Wright Observatory (2016 photo)

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History

There is also a short trail through the lava field here, with signage about the geologic history of the McKenzie Pass area.

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A lava stairway winds to the top of the observatory with panoramic views the whole way.

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2016 photo

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North and Middle Sisters

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Northward view

The shelter at the top is also a peak finder with windows framing the significant mountains.

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Window framing North Sister (September 2016)

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Historical plaque inside the shelter

The stairs continue to the upper viewing platform above the shelter to 360 degree views.

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2016 photo

The brass peak finder at the top provides reference points in every direction:

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North and Middle Sisters

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Closer view

Belknap Craters, Mts Washington and Jefferson and points north:

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We could actually see all the way to Mt Hood today  – a little white point over the shoulder of Mt Jefferson.

In 2015 we hiked to the Belknap Craters on a windy day.

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Belknap Craters

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Closer view of the where the trail goes through the lava field.

Black Crater, to the east:

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We have experienced sunsets, moonrises, wind and thunderstorms here, and spotted wildfires in the distance. Today, as we drove the 15 miles from Sisters, we passed through the blackened landscape from the Milli fire here last year.

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Black Crater 2018, with blackened forest on the flanks.

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Black Crater, September 2016, at sunset – note the shadow of the observatory in the foreground, and the green trees on the slopes in the background.

Tour de Craft

Tour de France is getting exciting this week – the cobblestones,  Alpine stages, and change of hands of the yellow jersey. I look forward to finishing this Welcome Blanket– just the binding to go – though our central Oregon trip has cut into my craft time.

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I knit about an inch on my Cornwall sock, and added few stitches into the roof of Jane Austen’s cross stitch house.

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Garden

We ate our first ripe tomatoes this week, and we have plenty of basil.

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Ripe tomatoes

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Cucumber flowers but no fruit

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First Rudbeckia bloom!

Red, White and Purple at Three Corner Rock, WA (18-28)

Three Corner Rock   4th of July, 2018    (Hike#40)

This easy hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail south from the 2090 road in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The beautifully maintained and graded trail switchbacks up a ridge lined with a variety of summer wildflowers. DSC06569The last 3/4 mile is on a rutted red access road which goes to the saddle – and to the volcanic pile of Three Corner Rock that is holding down the ridge from blowing away on this windy July 4th.

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We scramble part way up the rock to a windbreak and have lunch – only one of our hiking party braves the blast to scramble all the way to the top.

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Meanwhile, we admire our five volcano view: Jefferson, Hood, Adams, St Helens, Rainier, along with views of the Columbia River all the way to Portland to the west. This was a good place for a lookout back in the day!

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Mts Hood and Jefferson beyond the cell tower.

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Mts St Helens, Rainier and Adams.

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Silver Star Mountain

Among the flower palette are tons of red paintbrush, white bunch berry, and purple penstemon – nothing blue blooming up here today.

Other wildflowers – some are first sightings this year:

The map and June flower comparison is on my blog post from last year. 4.4 miles/1200 feet.

We stopped in Cascade Locks on the way home to buy fresh salmon for our 4th of July barbecue dinner.

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Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River.

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Native fish market at Bridge of the Gods. The burned skyline shows how close the Eagle Creek fire was to Cascade Locks.

CRAFTING

Pinwheel Quilt completed and just waiting for baby:

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Fabric baskets for a sister’s birthday:

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I started a quilt for the Welcome Blanket project:

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Lookout Mountain hike (18-27)

Lookout Mountain, east of Mt Hood   June 30, 2018   (Hike#39)

Walking through High Prairie,

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Lots of purple shooting stars and yellow cinquefoil

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Heather

up a gentle grade through the forest to the ridge punctuated by red volcanic soil and a pinnacle.

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Views of Mt Hood all along the ridge:

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The top of Lookout Mountain comes into view:

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From the top, views as far south as Broken Top,

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Broken Top, North and Middle Sisters, Mt Washington, Mt Jefferson, Badger Lake, and a resident chipmunk.

and north to Mt Adams with lenticular clouds.

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Mt Adams

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Mt Adams

The eastern high desert:

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Plenty of flowers, but there will be more! based on our past visits. 3.9 miles/800 feet.

Crafting:

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Pinwheel quilt basted and ready for quilting.

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Jane Austen’s House emerging in cross stitch.

In the Garden:

 

Some quilting! and Chinidere Mtn hike (18-26)

Quilting!

I started the Pinwheel Baby Quilt I am making for an expected family member.

Chinidere Mountain    6/22/2018     (Hike#38)

This trail starts at Wahtum Lake, on the upper end of the Eagle Creek fire zone. The area has been off limits since last September, but this particular trail recently reopened to public use. Connecting trails down Eagle Creek are still closed.

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6 miles/1200 feet

The trail immediately descends down 250 steps to Wahtum Lake.

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From the shore we can just see the rocky promontory that we are hiking to – Chinidere Mountain.

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(Photo taken on the return trip after the fog had lifted)

We continued on the Pacific Crest Trail around the east side of the lake, through an area with several hanging gardens and lots of flowers.  The Chinidere cutoff at about 2.5 miles switchbacks up the side of this rocky promontory that stands above the forest. When we arrived, the top was still covered in fog and a cold wind swept the spine of the mountain.

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Approaching the top

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Cliff penstemon

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Summit

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Flowers, fog, wind

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Mt Hood beyond the clouds

Just 10 feet away we could sit comfortably in the windless sunshine and enjoy our lunch, hoping for the clouds on Mt Hood to lift.

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Wahtum Lake from the summit

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Wahtum Lake after the clouds lifted

Below us to the north, we could see the mosaic burn of the upper part of the Eagle Creek fire.

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Brown areas burned by the Eagle Creek Fire

As we headed down the trail we walked out onto the ridge viewpoints to admire the wildflowers growing in the sunny rocky meadows and watched the clouds blow across Mt Hood.

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Lots of wildflowers today – lovely.

 

By the time we drove down the road the mountain was free and clear!

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Lookback:

On a clear day we could see all the volcanoes, north and south, from the top of Chinidere Mt.

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June 2016 – Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson

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June 2015 – Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier and Mt Adams

 

 

Jane Austen Day! Part 1, Chawton (18-24)

Day 5, Part 1:  Monday, April 30, 2018   Chawton

My top goal when planning this trip to England was to see Jane Austen’s house and quilt. The plan was to walk around Chawton to see her house, the large mansion and church at the center of her brother’s estate, and the gardens and paths in the area where the Austens would have regularly walked while living here.

Jane Austen’s House Museum

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This red brick house in the heart of Chawton holds many items that belonged to Jane Austen or her family members, as well as other pieces from the Regency period that create the ambiance of her daily life. Signs explain what was original and what changes have been made since her time. The tour is self guided, with knowledgable docents that answer questions.

Timeline and Family Tree:

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Furnishings:

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Jane Austen’s writing table

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Jane’s Father’s desk

Wallpaper:

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Portraits:

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Quilts:

Seeing the original quilt was a highlight of the entire trip. Having spent the past five years making a reproduction of this quilt, I really appreciated being able to sit in the room and admire the colorful though faded fabrics and tiny stitches, and think of the three pairs of hands that sewed this masterpiece. I considered the many hours involved in choosing fabrics, cutting, stitching, and keeping track of the quadrilateral symmetry of placement of all those tiny diamonds (more than 2500). More detailed information is available on the museum website.

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Center medallion

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Two community-made tribute quilts completed in 2018 are on view – a paper pieced patchwork quilt placed on a bed,

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and an appliquéd topical quilt honoring aspects of Jane Austen’s life and work:

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It was difficult to get a good photo of this quilt because it is hanging in the room showing the video of Jane Austen’s life, but thorough documentation can be found on the museum website blog.

Jewelry:

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Kitchen:

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View out the bedroom window:

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Gardens:

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After making a few purchase in the gift shop, we went on to:

Chawton House

We walked up the long drive to Chawton Great House,

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now used as a museum and center for women’s literature and writing workshops. We had a delicious lunch in the tearoom,

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then walked through the house. The textile furnishings in the dining room were colorful.

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The upstairs docent showed us this nook where Jane Austen used to sit and write while visiting family.

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From the windows we could see the surrounding land and the adjacent church.

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St Nicholas Church

The church next door is where the local families attend services. Jane’s sister Cassandra and mother are both buried in the churchyard here.

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St Nicholas Church

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Graves of Jane Austen’s mother and sister, both named Cassandra.

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Unfortunately, the weather continued blustery and rainy, so we abandoned our plan for a walk and drove twenty miles to visit Winchester Cathedral and Jane Austen’s grave. To be continued in the next blog post…