Friday, April 6, 2018

Oregon Coast, April and a Freebie!

Hi, stitching friends!

First, before anything else, I wanted to share with you another little pattern I designed. I know Valentine's Day was SO yesterday, but this is more of a love note to my husband and my son. It is for every day. I wanted to design and stitch something to show them that no matter what happens, I will be in their hearts. You can get the pattern here.

"Keep Me in Your Heart" stitched on 32-count country French cafe mocha linen with overdyed and DMC thread.

We're back from our Oregon Coast vacation, and I am just now starting to feel like myself again. We had a wonderful time with our friends Rob and Kristin, and we toured, ate, shopped, ate, walked on the beach, ate, and relaxed. And ate. But after just a few days of go, go, go, I was zonked!
When we left Portland and started our drive to the coast, we were hit with a huge snow storm! We left Idaho to get away from the snow! It was bad for just a couple of miles, though, but we did see someone stopped in the middle of the road putting on chains. Quite the overreaction, and definitely not safe. Rob did the driving, and he was a champ.

One of our first stops was Canon Beach. Some lovely beach photos.... but it was SO friggin' cold. We had rain every day except for a couple of hours one day. I'm glad I brought a hat, scarf and my wool coat.

Haystack Rock at Canon Beach

On the left, waaaaay out there, is the lighthouse, perched atop a lonely rock

The seagulls were feasting at low tide
On the way down Highway 101, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for ice cream. Then, just south of Tillamook, we spotted the huge air museum (rather hard to miss, as you can see in the photo). The museum is housed inside a blimp hangar that was built in 1942. It's 15 stories tall and covers more than 7 acres inside. You could have 6 football games going on at once inside.

The Tillamook Air Museum just south of Tillamook, Oregon

The hangar is 15 stories tall. Those doors (6 total) each weigh 30 tons! The plane parked out side is a "mini guppy" cargo plane designed in the 1960s. They told us they call it the pregnant guppy. The back part of the plane opens on a hinge.

The hangar is built of wood. Lots of wood. There is enough timber here to build thousands of houses.

While the hangar typically housed 2-3 blimps at a time, it could hold up to 8. The blimps were used during World War II to patrol the coast and spot enemy submarines.

Inside the hangar today, you will find lots of cool planes...


and automobiles!

I loved the drive along Highway 101. There were so many beautiful, old barns, and the daffodils were blooming everywhere - in yards and in the forest. One of my favorite things to see were a couple of free-range chicken farms. Chickens everywhere! Cluck, cluck, cluck!
After a long day of touring, we checked into our condo in Depoe Bay. Our view was amazing! We watched the whale-tour boats go out every hour, and while we did not see any gray whales up close, we could see them spouting about a half mile out.

Our view right off the balcony in our condo
We took Rob and Kristin to see the lighthouses in Newport. The first one is the Yaquina (pronounced Yuh-quinn-uh) Bay lighthouse. It was the first one built in Newport.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874
The other lighthouse in Newport is Yaquina Head Lighthouse, built in 1872. It took more than 370,000 bricks to build! It is still operating today.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, built in 1872, still operates today.
We also took Rob and Kristin over the Yaquina Bay bridge, just south of the Yaquina Bay lighthouse.

The Yaquina Bay bridge in Newport
We went for a long walk on Nye Beach, and we found something....
Poor little guy washed up on the beach during low tide! He looked so sad and helpless (and a little gross), pleading with us with those beady little eyes to help him. I think I heard him say, "Don't eat me!" I wasn't going to touch him, but Rob wasn't afraid.
As soon as Rob picked him up, he came to life (and thankfully didn't pinch Rob).
Shawn, my husband, is such a big softie, that he walked the little fella out into the waves. I kept hollering at Shawn to get back - one of these days my dear husband is going to be swept away by a wave, I just know it. But he is stubborn! He saved the little crab, at least for another day.

On our way back to Portland, we stopped in Corvallis so I could visit Friendship Crossing, a cross-stitch store recommended to me by sweet Beth, a friend I've made through this blog. The shop was heaven on earth, and the owner, Ann, was so sweet. I could have spent the entire day there. Shawn promises me that it will be a regular stop on future trips. Yay!

Since it's finally spring (hooray!), I finally got around to framing a spring piece I finished last winter, while I was dreaming of spring. It's "Simply Spring" by The Drawn Thread. I stitched it over two on the recommended fabric, with one thread, and I have to tell you, that was a weird experience for me. I'm so used to stitching over two with two threads. I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but now I do. I picked up the perfect frame on Amazon. What do you think?

"Simply Spring" by The Drawn Thread. Frame from Amazon.
The little buds on the tree are made with satin stitches.
While we were in Oregon, I spent a lot of time stitching the April cottage from Country Cottage Needleworks. When I got home, I realized that after stitching the parallelogram (math!!!) part of the roof, I had somehow turned my fabric 180 degrees and stitched the cottage upside down!

I had stitched the entire cottage and the tree before I realized my mistake (I was getting too close to the edge of the fabric - that's when I noticed). I had to take out all the stitches except for the roof and start again. That took nearly three hours (just pulling out stitches). Three loooong, hard, heartbreaking hours. I rinsed the fabric in cold water and pressed it to remove all the holes where my thread had been, and I started over.

And you know what? Several more times I made mistakes that required a lot of "unstitching." For a simple design, this thing sure threw me! That shows you how tired I was after our vacation.

April cottage by Country Cottage Needleworks, stitched on 32-count lambswool linen with called-for threads

I love that little bunny!

When I learned to cross stitch, I was taught to start in the middle. I notice that a lot of you start in a corner. Were you taught that way, or did you change at some point? If I had started in the corner, I would have saved myself a lot of work!

Happy April, stitching friends. I have another design in the works that I'm anxious to show you. It's a Christmas ornament, and I think you're going to love it. Until next time... Happy stitching!


  1. What a great trip with beautiful scenery. The air museum looks very interesting! Your new design is precious--good work!
    I rarely start in the middle anymore, but that is how I was first taught many years ago. Since I usually leave three inches of fabric past the design area, I would have started in 3" and down 3" with that brown band at the top. Having said that sometimes I start 3" down at the center top--it all depends on the design and what will afford me the least amount of possible counting errors. Am I being clear as mud???
    Basically, I'd say do whatever works best for you.

  2. What a lovely post Meg.
    Thank you for coming over to my blog .
    Love all your stitching so beautiful , I use to start my sewing in the middle but now I start at the bottom right corner , leaving enough room for how I will finish my project.
    Love all the photos of your trip and that poor little crab my hubby would have done the same he is far to soft too.
    Thank you for the free design it is so pretty .
    Have a lovely week hugs.

  3. I love the freebie and will be going over to print that out for myself to do sometime. The Drawn Thread is beautiful, I have seen a few of their designs recently that I love. I recently finished the April cottage but decided to leave the borders off the top and bottom this time, I was getting a bit bored with them all looking the same that way. Poor you having to pull out so much. I usually start in the middle too, it was how I was taught. Very occasionally I have started at the bottom and worked up, I did some poppies recently and started at the bottom of the stems and just worked upwards. x

  4. your free pattern is beautiful, love your finish. your vacation seemed amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Meg, what a wonderful trip you had!! You have a great eye and take wonderful photos, the one of the bridge is outstanding!! I have never been to Oregon and want to go even more now after traveling with you!! My husband would love that air museum and those are such beautiful mountains in the background. Not having a LHN near me I know what a thrill it is to go to one and Friendship Crossing sounds delightful. Your latest design is lovely! Thank you so much for the pattern. You are a woman of many talents! I feel for you that you had to frog out so much, its such a waste of time. I have made that exact mistake but Jo from Serendipitious Stitching blog told me a hint, you stitch one cross stitch at the very top of your piece before you start so you know where the top of the fabric is located. That hint has saved me quite a few times!! I always start at the bottom left hand corner leaving plenty of room for borders. I always use fabric larger than what is called for, I never want to run short! I love your Simply Spring stitch, I much prefer stitching one over two! The thread lays nice and my variegated threads go twice as far! Your April stitch is lovely too!! Such a great post filled with so much to see,I hope I didn't miss anything! Happy Stitching! Mary

  6. What a pretty, pretty design Meg. You are fantastic! I loved reading about your trip. Thank you for sharing! Simply Spring turned out simply perfect!! I am sorry you had so much unstitching to do. :( It looks great now. ;)

  7. Meg, thank you for sharing the pictures of your trip to the coast. What gorgeous scenery! Your stitched gift to your husband and son is fabulous. Sorry that you had stitching issues with the April Cottage, but it turned out cute.

    I was taught to start in the middle, but was shown by a friend how to start in the upper left hand corner. Most of the time, that is where I start.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Your travelogue was wonderful and makes me want to go to Oregon drive Highway 101 right now. Your pictures are gorgeous! Thank you for the pretty design which is a lovely gift - for your family too! I just got The Drawn Thread's Simply series so I'm about to stitch 1 over 2 for the first time myself. And when I start it, I will no doubt start in the middle!

  9. Your little pillow looks beautiful. Thanks for the freebie.
    Wonderful photos from your trip. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a nice sunday, Manuela

  10. Hello I'm here after seeing your blog mentioned in Stitching Friends Forever 1st birthday. Your stitching is beautiful! I love the April cottage and the frame you found for the Drawn Thread piece is perfect.
    I always start in the middle unless I can count up to the top left corner easily, then I will start there. Since I learned about coming up in "clean" holes and down in "dirty" holes it makes sense to me to start at the top.
    Now following your blog and looking forward to seeing more of your lovely stitching!

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  12. So glad you had a fun trip, Meg--I loved seeing your photos. And I do know what you mean about recovering after a vacation! Sometimes, we are SO active on vacation that we totally wear ourselves out, don't we? But, how nice that, in addition to all of that gorgeous scenery you got to visit a real live cross stitch shop. That is something I rarely get to do as we don't have anything nearby at all...

    Your DT piece is so lovely! I adore her designs, but don't do as many as I would like to because of the threads she uses. And I'm so glad the little April cottage finally got finished after that unfortunate frogging session--that must have been so, so frustrating! Your sweet design for your husband and son is darling--I'm off to print it out! Thank you :)

    I always start in the top left corner with my stitching. As I am self-taught, I don't know if that is the right way or not! But, it works!! I leave 2-3 inches of border for a piece that I plan on framing, but only an inch for all of my small ornaments and pillows--I hate to waste fabric.

    Enjoy your week, Meg--hope the snow has stopped (I say as I look outside at our softly falling snow!).

  13. Meg - I am glad to see that you enjoyed your vacation in Oregon. You missed quite the windstorm at the coast this past weekend. I am glad you were able to go to Friendship Crossing - Ann is special as is the bakery right next door!

  14. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pictures from the Oregon coast with its lighthouses. Reminds me of my own trip along this beautiful coast.
    Nice stitching that you accomplished. I love the Drawn Thread piece.
    I usually start in the centre of the design. I didn't do it once (many years ago) and then had to realize that the fabric wasn't enough to one side to get the piece framed. Since then the center is my starting point.

  15. Meg, thanks for dropping by Nanaland. I added your lovely blog to Blogs I Read so I can visit you! Your finishes are amazing!! and you design as well! I do all my finishes by hand. I have a sewing machine but I find getting the trim on there is sometimes difficult. My favorite finishers are Vonna Pfeiffer and Yvonne at Night Owl Stitcher on Floss Tube. They really inspire me with their lovely work. Don't you just love Stitching Friends Forever? Mary and RJ are the BEST!!

  16. Thamks for the comment on my blog. Always good to meet new bloggers!
    I am a centre starter, I don't like to waste fabric so usually have fairly tight margins.
    Such a shame about the frog but the design does look lovely all stitched up and finished.

  17. Hi, Meg! I'm new to reading your blog. It's delightful. To answer your question, I started cross stitching (many years ago) by working from the center out, but a couple of years ago I switched to starting from the top left and it has made life so much easier. Love your blog.

    1. Hi, Deborah! Thanks for your kind words. You made my day! Starting a couple of projects ago, I have been stitching starting in the top left and it has been very nice indeed! I would love to reply to you via email, but your email address is a "no-reply@" so I cannot. If you're seeing this, send me your email. Would love to keep in touch.


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