Firefighter’s Drive

Firefighter Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Purchase Firefighter Quilt Pattern


I feel exceptionally lucky to be able to sit here at my desk today, writing this post.  As you have probably heard, last week California was burning to ashes.  After working in the garden last Sunday morning, we spent a quiet day at home since my broken toes are still healing.  As we were getting ready for bed, the wind started howling around us.  I had an umbrella shading one of our gardenias.  We went outside to remove it and then we smelled it, that all too familiar wildfire smell in the air.



Firefighter Embroidery Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Firefighter Embroidery Pattern


We went to sleep wondering where the fire was.  Next morning, as I sat down to work, I noticed the sun.

I started reading the news, and shock took over me.  While sleeping Napa got lucky, the same wind that we heard the night before spread the fire across the mountains to the West and ravaged the city of Santa Rosa.



Northern California Wildfire Napa County | Whims And Fancies


This was the view just outside my window


I love fire.  I make excellent campfires, BUT I also have great respect for fire, a reverence if you will.  

Having lived in southern California where October is wildfire season, wildfires themselves are not new to me.  I have gotten ready for evacuation once before.  We have seen smoky skies and  burning hills more times than I care to remember.  We have camped under a red sun looming overhead, but it’s different.  Seeing this right outside our home still makes me very nervous.



Northern California Wildfire Sun | Whims And Fancies



Tuesday, as I saw smoke growing on the west side where the fire was closest to our home, I started packing.  Soon thereafter we got notification that the very north end of our street had received evacuation orders.  A young man wearing a particle mask was going from door to door, making sure we were aware of the notice.



Napa California Wildfire Sunlight | Whims And Fancies


Charlie has taken the colour of Quinacridone Gold from the wildfire sunlight


The hardest part is that if you do need to evacuate, you don’t know what you will come back to.  I started with the kitties’ supplies, their boxes, food.  Then came the necessary items for us and after that, a box of would-be-nice-to-save things.  On Wednesday, I packed a few more things ignoring the throbbing in my broken toes.  Whole place reduced to 2 boxes.



Napa California Wildfire Map | Whims And Fancies

Fire burning on both sides


All of us are ever so thankful to our First Responders.   They worked around the clock, shift after shift, 80 hours straight without any sleep to keep the fires away from us.   When the wind died down they made progress, only for the wind to return again the next day.

We got help.  All the neighbouring states, and states as far away as Florida, South Carolina, Indiana, New York and Alaska came to our rescue.  13 states in total.  We also got help from Canada and Australia.  The National Guard, police, firefighters – everyone pitched in stop the insatiable fire from raging across the state.  Our heroes!!



Thank You First Responders! Firefighter Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies



Our city was saved thanks to these wonderful people. After multiple wind advisories, we finally got a respite on Saturday. On Sunday the evacuation orders were also lifted for our Northern neighbour, the city of Calistoga, our usual weekend haunt.  A bit of blue sky even showed up. The streets were still quite empty, but signs of life were returning slowly: A couple of children playing outside, a group of teenagers walking together, a few open restaurants.


Elsewhere however, others didn’t fare as well.  First Responders saved quite a few homes, but a great many were destroyed.  Nothing was left of entire neighbourhoods except for fireplace chimneys and foundations. 

I learned that the line between the destroyed and the saved homes was called the Line of Sorrow.



Love Our First Responders! Firefighter Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies



Everyone showed extraordinary compassion.  That’s the thing about humanity.  We saw the worst of it last week, and we also keep on seeing the best of it alongside.

Well wishes continued to pour in.  Neighbours checked on each other like the young man who came by our place, while people offered their places to the evacuees.  Multiple animal rescue areas opened up for both large and small animals.  These are only a few examples.  The number of volunteers and donations in goods were at max capacity.

Businesses started collecting donations, and we gladly stepped up.  However, I wanted to do a bit more.



Firefighter Quilt Pattern / Firefighter Embroidery Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Purchase Firefighter Quilt Pattern

Firefighter Embroidery Pattern


So, on Monday, I started drawing these Firefighter pictures.  That was followed by creating the pattern and writing the pattern file, testing and making the block, along with making the necessary edits, all in the last 3 days.  Every time I wanted to stop and rest, I kept myself going thinking about the firefighters who didn’t give up.


Firefighter Quilt Pattern

It is my 12″ Firefighter quilt pattern.  I included instructions to make the block without fire for easier piecing.  I am sure any child or adult who gets wide eyed by firetrucks will love it!

I would really love it if you purchase this pattern from my shop.


Firefighter Embroidery Pattern

For those of you who want to do a bit of hand sewing, I have a Firefighter embroidery pattern for you too.  Sadly, I ran out of time to stitch a sample, but the pattern is colour coded and has suggested stitches.  You can get that from my shop too.


I will donate all proceeds from both patterns to the Firefighters Fund. 


Heroes are not born, they are made.


Lets help these heroes a little further.

Thank You!!


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!



38 thoughts on “Firefighter’s Drive

  • Christina November 11, 2017 at 13:35

    I am happy to hear that you are okay. These are beautiful blocks you have created, and the cause that it will go to is even better. Thank you for sharing, and heroes are truly amazing.

  • bettyl - NZ November 6, 2017 at 22:55

    I am so glad you are ok. How great to see the wonderful signs of thanks around town. Hope things are back to ‘normal’ soon and your toes heal properly.

  • Ness October 27, 2017 at 09:54

    Goodness how scary. I can’t imagine something like this happening in the UK but I know in so many parts of the world they are almost annual events.

  • Lara B. October 26, 2017 at 12:48

    Soma, thank goodness for those brave firefighters. I have seen pictures of the devastation. Your pattern honoring the men and women who step in to save others is wonderful! I am so glad that you and your husband and kitties are all fine. Evacuation orders are a frightening thing.

  • Andrea October 26, 2017 at 07:27

    As someone who has police, firemen, and an EMT in the family I wanted to thank you for this. Your appreciation and donation mean a lot to them. Just purchased the block. :)

  • TheChieftess October 25, 2017 at 16:11

    So glad you are safe…the fires in your part of the State were horrific. I live in SoCal…near LA…in the Foothills and are in the middle of another heat wave with virtually no humidity…praying daily that our hills are safe and sound. And of course supporting your area by drinking as much California wine as we can!!!

  • Julie October 25, 2017 at 15:44

    That must have been so scary, and oh my goodness, how do you decide what to take. What a wonderful block you have designed. thanks for linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share.

  • Debbie October 25, 2017 at 08:17

    Hi Soma, I got goosebumps reading your post. Wildfires are devastating and I have all the respect in the world for those men and women who put themselves out there fighting those fires. I live on a Greek island and this year we had over 80 wildfires, some big, some small, but each and everyone had to deal with by brave people.More than once we saw the sun glowing behind a blanket of smoke. Charlie does look beautiful bathed in the funny light that goes with a fire and I hope your quilt raises plenty to help the firefighters…Popped over from #ThroughMyLens

  • Lady Fi October 24, 2017 at 20:58

    Lovely shots – but the fires that are devastating your part of the world break my heart.

  • Janine @ Rainbow Hare October 24, 2017 at 13:03

    I was very happy to see this on my phone while we were away but I couldn’t remember my password to comment. I’m so glad you are all ok and I think it’s wonderful that you creaded these blocks in appreciation for the First Responders. They really are heroes. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones or homes and I hope your area will recover quickly. Hugs, Janine :) xxx

  • Marie-OR October 24, 2017 at 09:15

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. The CA wildfires have been so devastating! I am so glad you and yours are safe. We had a small taste of what kind of scare a wildfire can bring (something we’ve never experienced before, only hurricanes& tornadoes) this past late summer as they ranged over many sections of Oregon. One came very close to the one road we have that gets us in and out of the ranch, and would be our only hope of escape. It was brought under control thank goodness before it became a real issue. My husband with COPD suffered greatly with his breathing for over a month. Our Volunteer Fire Dept gave the proceeds to our breakfast fundraiser to a town in CA. CA has been a HUGE tragedy! We are thankful friends and family are ok. So many lives lost, and homes lost! Beautiful designs for your quilt square and also for the embroidery! I hope you sell a lot of them!

  • photo cache October 24, 2017 at 08:18

    Heroes are definitely made. I cannot imagine the courage these firefighters have to face danger like that. Happy to hear you are safe. Way too many people are impacted and have major life changes.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  • The Eclectic Abuela October 24, 2017 at 05:35

    Glad to hear you are safe. We live among heroes every day, but until catastrophe, we don’t always know it.

  • Bill October 24, 2017 at 05:30

    Feel for you having to put up with all that smoke

  • Roseanne October 24, 2017 at 04:57

    Hi Soma,
    What a powerful post. {{Hugs}} How incredibly scary that must have been. I truly cannot imagine. I have many first responders in my immediate family, so I do know how caring and hardworking they can be. ~smile~ Roseanne

  • Su-sieee! Mac October 23, 2017 at 18:54

    Thank you for sharing your story and the photos. We could smell the smoke down here in Hollister. I’m glad that you and your family are safe and sound. Big hugs.

  • Kate October 23, 2017 at 18:16

    It’s been hard to watch the fires over the last week. Glad to hear you and yours are OK. What a great way to say thank you.

  • Robyn Vaughan October 23, 2017 at 18:13

    Pleased you are safe but sad for those in Santa Rosa. There can be widespread bushfires in Australia and I’m not surprised there was firefighting assistance from here. Australia has just had one of the driest Winters on record as well as the warmest Winter on record. There’s been a few big widespread fires and it’s not even Summer yet. We are currently taking safety precautions like clearing dead fallen branches on our property and alongside the roadway and burning them off before the total fire bans begin. Hoping you stay safe.

  • Emily Bailey October 23, 2017 at 11:51

    Glad you are safe. Your designs are wonderful and so appropriate.

  • Bonnie in VA October 23, 2017 at 07:52

    Excellent designs. We’ve been watching it closely as my brother and his wife are in the Napa area a lot crushing and bottling wine for their boutique winery. It’s been so devastating to see what is happening. I haven’t seen as much coverage in the last 5 days or so. Hope it means the fires are under control.

  • Felicia October 23, 2017 at 07:46

    It is so tragic the fires that have ravaged your state. Glad you are safe. love your quilt.

  • Alycia October 23, 2017 at 07:35

    I am so glad you are safe – my Dad was a Wildland Fire Fighter and got called in to a lot of these types of fires, but I can not imagine being on the evacuate side…. so glad you were safe. Love your blocks!

  • Kelleyn Rothaermel October 23, 2017 at 01:56

    I don’t know if I would have been able to sleep. So devestating ! Glad you were safe!

  • bettyl - NZ October 22, 2017 at 19:09

    What a scary thing each year to have the fires flaming so close you can see them. I have to admit that they do make the world look eerie but beautiful. Glad you’re OK and thanks for mentioning the fabulous outpouring of help when the area needs to come together.

  • Jesh StG October 22, 2017 at 17:56

    Totally understand this, because two years ago we were going through the same packing, etc. when all our neighbors had already left. But the same thing happened, the wind changed direction, and at midnight the electricity went back on after 2 days. That’s when we knew we didn’t have to leave. The fire fighters and first responders are the real heroes!
    A beautiful momentum you made of the firefiighters hard hat! Thank God you, your hubby, cat, and house are safe!! Take it easy – broken toes are so painful! Many thanks for sharing this frigtening experience with All Seasons!

  • Carol October 20, 2017 at 14:58

    Glad it missed you but saddened by all that was lost.

  • nrs October 20, 2017 at 08:34

    I am glad to hear you and your family are okay. I agree with you about the first responders and they do an amazing job. I purchased your pattern and I think I will make a quilt and donate it to our local fire dept.

  • Toni Leggate October 20, 2017 at 05:03

    So glad to read you are safe. It is incredible what ‘first responders’ do at all [potential and actual] disasters. I have been close to a wildfire in Northern Spain so have a little awareness – very little.
    Here in the UK we had red skies and sun, when the cloud cover thinned, from storms that brought Saharan sand to us. Beautiful for us whereas your skies were a foreboding.

  • Paige @ Quilted Blooms October 19, 2017 at 22:15

    Great to hear you are safe and sound at home! Thank you for your efforts, great patterns! What would we do without them? BTW, Charlie is beautiful in the sunlight!

  • Robin October 19, 2017 at 20:22

    Isn’t great when neighbors bond together when there is a natural disaster. I live in Florida along the Gulf coast and we were under mandatory evacuation. Lucky for us the storm turned to land before reaching us but bad for them. It was horrid being out of power for a week in record breaking heat. My heart goes out to those who lost everything due to fire or hurricaines. I can not imagine how those in the Carribean are getting along without even a safe place to be let alone no clean water, power, medicine, etc. It makes you realize how well we all have it here in the US. I will certainly purchase both the patterns. For all they do and their budgets are cut all the time. Many police, fire fighters and other aide workers use their own money, use their vacation time or have others at their station work their shifts while they are helping others in the country. Thank God you and your family are safe.

  • Kathleen October 19, 2017 at 13:02

    Soma, you had a close call! I always worry about you when I hear of the wildfires. I will be purchasing both patterns.

  • Kim Sharman October 19, 2017 at 13:01

    I have been wondering about you, your husband and kitties as I have been watching the news. So glad that you are all safe and you didn’t have to evacuate. The firefighters and volunteers are indeed the most marvellous of people; going out of their way and duty to protect people and their homes. In times of trouble the goodness of the human spirit always rises to the fore. Such a clever firefighter pattern, Soma. You have shone once again, both in your cleverness, creativity and your compassion.

  • Susan October 19, 2017 at 12:17

    Glad to hear you are, your hubby and cats are safe and your home was kept intact. One of my brothers was a volunteer firefighter so I understand the risks they take and the hard work firefighting is.

  • Dixie October 19, 2017 at 11:46

    I’m happy you are all safe! Also, so pleased to hear about the wonderful helpful people who stepped in, lending capable hands and encouragement, including you and your lovely fundraiser.
    The Firefighters deserve a world of gratitude! Your post made me weep, but in a good way because strength comes from unity, and it’s prevelant in your post…definitely what the world needs now.

  • Kim October 19, 2017 at 11:36

    So glad you’re alright, Soma, such a scary experience. And so difficult to determine what from a houseful of memories what stays behind.

  • Sherry October 19, 2017 at 10:12

    Glad you are safe. Firefighters put their lives on the line every day. I am happy to help by purchasing your pattern. Thank you.

  • krislovesfabric October 19, 2017 at 06:24

    So glad to know you are safe and so so sad for those who are not and who have lost so much. Firefighters are true heroes, I am happy to contribute to your fundraiser :)

  • Patty October 19, 2017 at 04:15

    I am so happy to hear that you and your home are fine – I’ve been thinking about you. My gratitude to the first responders everywhere – they are amazing.

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