Travel Update

Day 2

Today, we traveled from Sherman, Texas to Bentonville, Arkansas. We are now the Traveling Meemaws… a bit more dignified than Traveling Clown Car. The autumn foliage is amazing.

We arrived at the Air B&B this afternoon. We were too late to visit the quilt shop. What a beautiful house! It is 45 degrees and a bit drizzly, so we had to change our plans to walk around downtown. Instead, we played games and enjoyed a cozy evening indoors. We started playing for chips and moved up to coins… real big time gamblers.

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Red tree in downtown circle.

Our home for the week is awesome. We each have our own room.

I won’t even try to explain the hair caps!🙃

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Traveling Clown Car

Day One

We traveled from San Antonio to Sherman, Texas avoiding IH35. The country roads took us through quaint Texas towns. There are beautiful courthouses in Texas. I was so excited to see actual autumn foliage.

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This is not the best picture, but I loved this courthouse.

Our first stop was in Hico, Texas where we stopped at the Kountry Kup. This place is known for 16 flavors of homemade pie.

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It took us a while to make our decision😃

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Look at that meringue!

The weather is awesome…we need jackets!

It has been a day of adventure (we sort of got lost) and laughter.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Last Minute Preparations

I guess my sewing room will not get cleaned and reorganized before I leave for my trip.
Once again, my wandering mind started making something with the fabrics I was trying to store and organize.
I made some strips with the fabric memos my brother gave me.
This formed a nice sized block, which I cut into some columns.

My grandson has two pets that need to be included in  his story quilt, so I drew a dog and a cat silhouette onto the back of the Steam – a-Seam Lite.

This quilt is getting a bit large. It might have to be the story of his early years.
Maybe I can make a quilt in 5 year increments.

I’m all packed and ready to go to Arkansas. I contacted the quilt shop in Bentonville, and they say they will be expecting me. 
I will try one more time to clean up the sewing room. It would be a disappointment to return and find it looking the way it is now.
Now, I better get to some serious cleaning.

Story Quilt

My plan was to clean up my sewing room before my trip with my buddies.
Instead, I found myself making a block to add to my grandson’s story quilt.
As they drive in their green truck, my son and grandson count cement trucks.
I find myself counting cement trucks now.
My grandson also loves trains.
I used to find myself getting irritated when I stopped for a train, but now, I look at them as if my grandson was with me. I think of where the train is going and where it has been.
I count and identify the different types of train cars.
A child can make one stop and enjoy the simplest of things.
I drew some of these vehicles onto the back of the fusible, without a pattern.
I didn’t draw the clouds, sun, wheels, and some of the train carts .
I just placed the fusible on the back of the fabric and cut.
I had some striped canvas, so I cut it on the bias in order to get the slant for the train track.


I don’t know how I plan to stitch the appliques.
Zig-zag and satin stitches take too long.
Would there be too much fraying if I straight-stitched these?
Any input is appreciated.

I Spy

On picnics, on walks, sitting in front of the library, in the car…these are just a few of the places my granddaughter and I have played “I Spy”.
This is why I decided to go back to the idea of making her an “I Spy” floor pillow.
I made an applique of her little face and her blue eyeglasses.
She loves her glasses.
I tell her that when I visit my eye doctor and get a new prescription, I will buy a pair of blue eyeglasses.
I will not have time to quilt this before I leave for my trip.
Also, I need to order a 30″ x 30″ pillow insert.


I plan to add buttons for her eyes after I quilt this top.

The Right Tools

Source 

Although I never tried to use a hammer to unscrew the needle plate on my sewing machine, I tried quite a few different things such as dimes, paper clips, etc.
The screwdriver that came with the sewing machine was too long, thus, making it very difficult to undo the screw. I had to angle the screwdriver and this angling turned this task into a struggle.

Today, I found these treasures at the B & B Quilting.
These perfect sized screwdrivers  come in two different sized bits.
Both bits work with my sewing machine.
I no longer have to angle in the screwdriver or use other objects.


Compare the difference in sizes between the new screwdriver on the top and the screwdriver that came with the machine.

This little tool has made it so much easier for me to remove the needle plate to clean my machine.
My dad always stressed the importance of having the right tool.
He would be happy to know that I really did listen to him…sometimes.

Mystery Reader

Mystery Reader day was so much fun.
My granddaughter said she figured it out as soon as she heard my clue about liking to quilt.
The children loved the story, Bear Says Thanks,by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.
I took some of the fabric squares I had pieced for the I Spy pillow top I was thinking of making my granddaughter.
The children oohed and ahhed over the fabric.
We set out the 9-patch grids I had printed, and we passed out the bag of construction squares I had cut.
I told the students to take their time in choosing the colors and making their design.
I even gave them the option of drawing and making a design on their two inch blocks.
We spent about ten minutes just thinking about our color and design.
Then it was lunch time.
I had forgotten how crazy it is in a school cafeteria on the day after Halloween!
I left after lunch and recess.
Before I left, I reminded the students that every one has a story to tell.
I challenged them to share their stories with their friends.
The teacher said she planned to have an afternoon of art, reading, and writing stories.
The students said they would send me a picture of the class quilt they make with their blocks.

During lunch, I told my granddaughter that I planned to make a large floor pillow for her reading tent at home. I asked if she wanted to be part of choosing the theme and fabric, and she said she wanted it to be a surprise.
So, surprise it will be.
I will make an I Spy pillow top.
I stopped by the B & B Quilting to see if I could find more fun fabric to add to the I Spy project.
My stash has been depleted of fabric that has cute stuff to “Spy”.
The people at the B & B are so helpful.
I purchased 4″ strips of fabric that had designs and characters that relate to my granddaughter.
 Butterflies, Buttons, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and More
I also purchased the fabric for the sashes.

 

Teacher Mode

 

 

 

This week, I will be traveling to be the Mystery Reader at my granddaughter’s school.
Today, I got into teacher mode, as I prepared for this visit.
As directed by the teacher, I have sent clues about myself to the class. The teacher will read them to the students to see if they can guess who the reader might be.
I am sure my granddaughter will know it’s me when she hears the last two clues: former teacher, and love to quilt.
I have chosen a book from one of my favorite series of Bear books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.
Since it is November, I will read Bear Says Thanks.
In this book, Bear takes out a quilt for all of his friends to sit while he reads to them.
I will be taking my Grandma-on -the -Go quilt so the students can sit for story time.
I found a 9-patch grid template. I cut 2″ squares out of different colors of construction paper.
The students can each make their own 9-patch paper block.
Then, the blocks can be assembled to make a Story Time quilt.
I also made a November Word Bank and printed off some writing paper with autumn borders.
The students can write a story about November.
I must say, it was fun getting this all together.

Monday

These last four days have been great.
I got to spend an evening and a day with a very special boy, my grandson.
The dinosaur pillow was a big hit with my grandson.
It served many purposes, including: jumping, playing game boards, reading, doing puzzles on the iPad, and a “not taking a nap but just resting” pillow.

I also got to spend a day with my friend, Nancy.
I wish I had taken pictures of the Christmas stockings she made for some friends.
Absolutely beautiful.
We visited Poppy Quilt n’ Sew in Georgetown, Texas.
We both found great fabric for future projects.

Today, I started working on a floor pillow for my granddaughter.
One of the games we play when we are together is “I SPY”.
I found some fabric in my bins that I used to start this pillow.

While I was looking for more fabric for the “I SPY” pillow, I found a fabric panel that had school images and the map of the United States. It was used on my bulletin boards when I was teaching.
My granddaughter is interested in maps, so I started making a pillow top.
I am not happy with my attempt at quilting, stitch in the ditch, so this may end up in the UFO box.

I might just put both of these projects in the UFO box and ask my granddaughter to design a pillow top for me to quilt.
It was good to get back to my sewing machine, but I guess I just was not into anything I made today.
Do you ever have days like this?