Roads, Rows & other adventures…

So much to catch up on…

The recipe for Oysters Swiss Chard Gratin has been found – corrected – updated.  It’s below and to the left.

oyster swiss chard

It took me an extra few days because I was “not here” – I was away from the office working having fun… a bit of both.

I left on Thursday for a trip to Washington State to attend a retreat at Meg Hawkey’s Crabapple Hill Studio in Benton City – near Kennewick and Richland.  You might know Meg’s amazing work from her patterns – they combine embroidery, applique, patchwork and crayon-tinting.

Working.  Definitely working.


On Friday, those of us who had never done it before – moi – learned crayon-tinting.  Then we started stitching our Winter-themed project – with a short break for making a lovely beaded scissor fob.  Saturday was more stitching – in between making a terrific no-sewing involved jute tote with ruffles on one side – with Tole Christmas fabric by Gina Martin – and an adorable little snowman jar.


If you’re a fan of Meg’s work – and Meg! – I highly recommend the retreat as it was a wonderful experience.  Meg is funny, nice, and a terrific teacher – and she’s thought of everything.  The retreat-studio is a feast for your eyes – and a feast for your tummy, you’ll be very well fed.


The adventure part of it was getting there, and then getting back to Seattle.  Long story short – after carefully checking every possible detail about the trip from Seattle-to-Benton City, and from Portland-to-Benton City, I decided to fly into Seattle.  It made sense – except I’d forgotten to consider the December weather.  It seems the road I’d planned to take – the most direct route – is sometimes closed when it gets cold.

Let it suffice to say that I went from Seattle to Benton City via Portland.  I didn’t get to see much on the drive there since it was late and raining very hard – late because I got stuck in really bad traffic in Seattle – is that an oxymoron?  The road through the Snoqualmie Pass was “better” on Sunday morning but given my vast experience driving in snow, ice, and slush – it’s pretty much non-existent; my made-for-the-conditions vehicle – a rental car that may-or-may-not have front-wheel drive; and my need to get back to Seattle to make a 3:15 flight home… I decided to go back the same way I’d come.

That was a terrific decision – very worthwhile.  In the dark and heavy rain, I didn’t know that the highway went along the Columbia River through the gorge.


Even with a gray, overcast, rainy morning… I loved every minute of it.

I even took a slight detour – okay, it’s right by the side of the highway.  Multnomah Falls.  Yes, I walked up to the bridge above the lower falls for a better look at the top.  Because my umbrella was at home and my jacket was in the trunk of the car, I got a little bit wet.


And I loved every minute of that too.

The “working” or “almost working” part was Thursday – I spent several hours at the offices of Martingale in Bothell.  Did you know their offices are open to the public?

I didn’t get any pictures because we were so busy laughing and chatting working!  When I put my bag down for the tour, I forgot all about it until we were done.  Next time, right?

We talked quite a bit about the upcoming All-in-a-Row book – it arrived in Dallas while I was in Washington.


Before I forget – the last time I showed this book, someone mentioned that they were thrilled the book is spiral-bound.  That was me – I do that with books I know I’m going to be using a lot.

I know I’ll be using this one because there is a blog hop coming and a sew-along – starting in January!  And since my row is in the book, I will be participating.  I really love this quilt…


Mine will be different – it will have a house row.  The houses are  curiously – noticeably! – absent from this quilt.

I do love these fabrics – Prairie by Corey Yoder / Meadow Bloom by April Rosenthal / Simply Colorful II by V & Co..  The backgrounds are from Behind the Scenes by Jen Kingwell – No. 18114 13 and 18114 26.

Did I mention that the blog hop and sew-along are being described as “faboo fabric fun”?  To read more about it – here’s the skinny on the fun.  You can also see all the rows, who made each row,  and see some of the other quilt options.

That’s all I can think of for now – more later.

Happy Tuesday!




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19 thoughts on “Roads, Rows & other adventures…

  1. Carrie – Loved your post, but where are the “Christmas Cookie Rules” ?? I have a feeling I’m going to need them very soon! Help!

  2. Welll…. quite an adventure I would say that will be with you for awhile. How fun! Enjoyed the read as usual. You have a real knack for this blogging thing. I think they should give you a raise. 🙂

    1. Hi Nancy – Thank you! It was a lot of fun and I confess to enjoying the “things that come up” unexpectedly. And I appreciate your support – I’m going to forward your comment to the bosses. 🙂

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful and exciting trip!! Multnomah Falls is quite a sight!! And it must have been amazing in the winter (I’ve only been there in the summer.) Glad you arrived to and from your destination in one piece!! And the book is on my Christmas list: hope my family has it ordered! 😉 Have a wonderful Christmas! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  4. My first retreat at Crabapple Hill was in May and I had never been so thrilled (not that I can remember)
    It is truly an experience!!!

  5. Love the photos from your trip – on my bucket list to spend a winter out that way (Washington and Oregon) sometime in the near future (Whale’s Head Beach area)…

    In case I don’t get a chance next week – best wishes for a very Merry Christmas, and every happiness in the New Year!

    1. It’s beautiful – I love the Pacific Northwest and as much as I love warm weather and sunshine, I love being there in the fall and winter.

      Merry Christmas to you too – and I hope 2016 is a “best ever” kind of year for you. 🙂

  6. Next time you come, fly into the Tri-Cities airport at Pasco and you could stay with me. I live right by the airport and would even loan you my Bernina 750 if you don’t want to drag yours along. Then it is only about a 15 mile drive out towards Benton City. And I had no idea Crabapple Hill was so close to my home, so I will have to check it out!

    1. Hi Ramona – We didn’t need sewing machines, it was all hand-stitching and crafting. I heard from a few of the ladies there that flying into Pasco is easily done. (I confess that I hadn’t thought to see if I could fly into the area. I even considered Spokane.) Next time, right? And thank you for the invite – next time! 🙂

  7. Looks like you had a great and fun time! But next time please show us some photos:-)
    The book is on my xmas wishlist let’s see if Santa gets it right;-)

    1. Okay, I’ve just seen that also the book is not on the site yet (it says january there, grr), Santa (aka me, lol) ordered it from bookdepository. But I promise I’ll treat it as a gift from my parents so it still counts as xmas gift;-)

  8. So glad you enjoyed your visit to “our” neck of the woods! Yes, we are pushing 12 inches of rain and tons of snow in the mountains/ski areas, so not too much complaining. I did order the book from Amazon and got it yesterday! However, it is NOT spiral-bound…..

    1. Hi JoAnn – I’m the one that goofed and I’m sorry you were misled. I didn’t realize I’d shown my spiral-bound book in the first post so while I did address that in this post, it sounds like you’d already ordered your book. For a book like this – one I know I’ll be using a lot – I take them to an office store or FedEx Office and they can put the spiral-binding on for me. It’s only a few dollars and it takes just a few minutes. It’s terrific for block books and the Farmer’s Wife books.

  9. So fun to see you were up my way. I live about an hour from Benton City. I have longed to do a Meg weekend but hasn’t worked out yet. I always enjoy your blog and look forward to your humor and information. Oh and the Gorge is impressive any time of year. Nice you stopped and enjoyed Multnomah Falls.

  10. The Columbia River Gorge is worth the drive everytime. In the summer the wind surfers take over Hood River. And Multnomah Falls is amazing. During the super heavy rain there were actually two water falls and the tunnel was flooded. Good thing you were not traveling here this week. We had snow and ice in the Gorge yesterday. It is mostly melting today as the weather warms up. After the last year of drought we are all happy for the rain and snow.

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