I do love to travel and meet new people and last week’s visit took me to a new-to-me part of Oregon. Oregon is beautiful and the Rogue Valley was beautiful in a whole new way. Both Medford and Ashland are well-known nearby neighbors in Southwest OR. The Rogue River created the valley in which the city sits, all at the convergence of 3 nearby mountain ranges: the Klamath, Coastal Range and Cascades. It is gorgeous! This trip did not afford enough time to explore the outdoors but I want to bring Hubby back to spend some time there.
The trip up was quite eventful, wait for it:
This is was not a low-volume packing experience! My Start With A Square class takes a lot of “stuff” so my car was full. (BTW, I was in a loaner car. My 2-year old Acura MDX with 42,000 miles needed a new transmission! I’ve owned 3 Acura/Hondas and TWO of them needed new transmissions. Yes, I know all the signs of a flagging transmission, long before it gets bad. I’m still under warranty :-) but if I didn’t know the signs, I could have driven it beyond warranty before it failed – yikes!)
Oh I love the American West!
Must be the Midwestern in me but I love grain silos and elevators. The California part of the drive was peppered with them.
Oleanders are beautiful and common along California highways.
Once I hit Oregon, snow began to appear on the mountains. I stopped a total of 6 times on the way up to take photos! Look at that grass against the field across the road – love me my grasses.
This is not a joke. Yes, there is a town in far northern Ca named Weed.
And there she is – the majestic Mount Shasta with way more snow than there should be in mid-June.
So, reeeeeally interesting incident on the way up. I’m just going to quote my own FaceBook post:
“Shaking. Here at a rest stop. 3 lanes going up a hill. I see a woman walking on the road – we’re all at full speed, I’m in the right lane. All of a sudden she is right in front of me. I veer. She surely could have touched my bumper. She walks off the road and disappears into a gully. I can’t stop without causing my own problem. See all 3 lanes come to a stop in my rear view. Someone getting out and over the guard rail after her. Young, like early 20’s. Pretty, thin, blue hair. God saved her from me and I pray He saves her from herself.”
I was shaken and stopped at the first rest stop and took this photo as I composed myself. So thankful I was fully alert, two hands on the steering wheel, fully aware of vehicles around me.
Onward to Grants Pass:
Grants Pass has a lot of fabulous food and interesting sights, a mix of businesses that appeal to tourists mixed with charming old-timey downtown buildings.
I loved this about Grants Pass! There were bear statues everywhere, more than 80 in this small town! The bears are engaged in various activities and some seasonal poses. The first bears were created in 2003 at the request of Brady Adams, a former bank president and philanthropist, created the charming tradition of bear statues in Grants Pass. There is even a BearFest and several bears have been auctioned off to fund local charities.
And lookie here – my book for sale at the local quilt shop (Plaza Sewing and Quilting)! I signed their copies and hope they sell quickly.
The guild took me out to Tap Rock restaurant Thursday night after class – what a treat! There was extensive bronze art by Peter C. Sedlow throughout the 3-story restaurant.
The front door…
The front door handle…
elevator doors to the lower level. Such beauty!
The Grants Pass Piecemakers asked me to teach two classes: Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt! and, Free Motion Quilting – Start With A Square (SQASQ). I was pleased and surprised to find that in a guild with 50 – 60 active members, 18 signed up for the beginning class and 12 for the second day. Thank you Piecemakers!
I forgot to take photos of the first day, but I did take photos of the second day:
Alex Anderson sent a big box of Quilters Select Perfect Cotton Plus thread (one of my new favs) and good-sized samples of their wool batting. The guild was delighted and expressed their appreciation by waving “thank you” to Alex in this photo.
We worked fun and hard for two days and I saw tremendous improvement! Many of these ladies were first time free motion quilters and I was so delighted with their work. The green sample on the right in row 3 was a first-time stippler! And we had a finished piece (middle of row 3)
It is hard to express the joy I feel when I see students getting excited about their work and moving forward with increasing confidence. On the second day, when students were playing with their squares, we learned 13 new motifs! It was a very good day. I think we hatched a good bunch of new free motion quilters who will be quilting their own work – yay!
While I was visiting, I viewed the SAQA exhibit, Turmoil and Tranquility, a spectacular event. I’ll write about that in next week’s post. I’m tired for now!
I will be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday so be sure to check out the links! If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, you can sign up here. I send weekly on Sat morning at 9AM PST and you’ll get a link to each week’s blog post as well as other articles of interest. My list is growing rapidly so I think I’m doing something right!