Friday, July 31, 2015

Home Again, and Away We Go

We got home Friday morning at 12:30 am.

Friday morning was the beginning of laundry, cleaning out the car, putting stuff away and running some errands. 

We ran into Wyandotte to pay a bill, and of course I had an opportunity to obtain a row.  :D
Sew What in Wyandotte, Michigan is a cute little shop which has a good selection of fabrics.

I thought this pattern was very cool and also loved the kit.

We got home played with the kids, The Finn has become much more talkative since we were gone.  We discovered that we had the car for another two days.  What to do? Check out the Row by Rows for Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to see who had some rows that I would want which could be acquired during a day trip.  The decision was Ohio was the place to go.  So Saturday off we went. 

First stop was Grannie Fannie's Quilt Barn which the address says that it is in Millersburg, Ohio,but is actually in Berlin.

Love the shop and they actually have quilts which were hand quilted too.  Gives you a whole new perspective on how much a quilt should cost. 

Stop 2 was Lone Star Quilt Shop in Mt. Hope, Ohio.  

Cute shop which shares space with a shoe store.  Love this row!

Stop 3 was Somewhere Sewing in Millersburg, OH.  This was another row that I had to have.
I love this shop, I shop them online often.  They had loads of fabrics, some vintage machines, and DH and the owner's spouse had quite the discussions regarding car/heavy equipment repair, sewing machine repair and starting a quilt shop. 

The final shop was Paw Patch Quilt Shop in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
They had two rows one horizontal, and one vertical.  I loved their vertical row.  So I purchased it, and a 15 degree triangle ruler by Creative Grids.  I wanted a ruler to do a Dresden quilt and this one is nice and big, and is the first I have seen for a while. 

I have 3 more rows I want to acquire.  One from Threads of Tradition in Archbold, Ohio at Sauder Village, one is from a shop called Bits & Pieces in Wayne, Michigan, and the last is from Lake Erie Mercantile, which is the local quilt shop here in Monroe, Michigan. 

These are my rows so far, and my other acquisitions while on vacation.

Dh and I drive old vehicles, so when we go on a vacation or a long weekend we rent a car.  We had a Toyota Corolla, and while Dh is a strictly American car buyer when we compared vehicles that we could have at the rental counter the Corolla had the most room, which we needed because the little boys are not light packers!  I will say that it was definitely worth the money because we put on over 8,000 miles in the three weeks we had the car, and it drove wonderful, we averaged around 40 miles per gallon.  In Portland an engine light came on, all we had to do was take it back to the rental agency and we got a different car!  Thoroughly worth the cost. 

Sunday was clean house a bit, a bit of yardwork (mowing the lawn, and pulling weeds from the garden), and grocery shopping.   Tomorrow I watch the kids, and DH is going to work on my car.  He has the whole week off to work on the car, take the siding off the house so that it can get wrapped in Tyvek.  Hopefully it will help with the extreme cold we have had the last couple of years.

Back to the grind.  Ugh!

One last vacation memory. The pink elephant in Wisconsin.  The boys had to have a picture.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rushmore and Rowing Part 3

South Dakota was very interesting.  We did a few quilt shops, stopped at Mt. Rushmore, went through Wind Cave National Park, Hot Springs, South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux reservation, and the Rosebud Reservation.

Driving into South Dakota you pass by the famous Sturgis-  no we did not stop because even though the famous Bike Rally isn't until the first week of August it was still crazy busy.  But we did stop at Spearfish, South Dakota at Dakota Quilt Company.  I have shopped their online site quite a few times, and they have a gorgeous selection of batiks.

This was their row. 
We spent the night in Rapid City, South Dakota so the boys could swim. We had a late start because I wanted to stop at a shop called Betty's Quiltery.  Per their online shop it opened at 9:00 but when we got there according to the sign on the door it didn't open until 9:30.  I was not about to sit for 1/2 an hour with the three men in the car, so we went off to Mt. Rushmore.

We did the hike which is about 3/4 of a mile up/down and stairs.  OMG I need to lose more weight!

The boys thoroughly enjoyed it and there was a child's display of a teepee which they thought was cool.

We drove out to a nearby small town called Hill City which had a sweet little quilt shop called Hill City Mercantile.  They had some great patterns, and fabrics in a great old shop.
These had to come home with me.
I also had to have some of this fabric.
There row was very simple, but could be changed up many different ways.
There was a family discussion at that point.  Do we drive back to Rapid City, and head  homeward on 90?  Do we go to Hot Springs through Wind Cave Park, then across the Sioux Reservations through the Badlands.  We decided to head to Hot Springs.

At Wind Cave park we saw prairie dogs, and came around a corner to this.
There was a giant herd of Bison.  They were huffing, snorting, kicking up dirt, and the boys could hear it all.  These were bigger than the ones in Yellowstone.  They covered a hillside, which makes you wonder what it was like 200 years ago when they say that a herd could run by you for a couple of days.
Hot Springs is a sweet little town. There are a lot of old buildings which appear to have been built from the local sandstone which is red.  The town sits along this little creek.  If you would like to read more about it check out Wikipedia.
There were not many places to eat so we ate at The Vault which is a little bar and grill in town.
The only thing that the boys were disappointed about while eating at The Vault was that they did not get to sing "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond.  They were complaining about the song, and I told them that they needed to learn it  because inevitably they would be in a bar when they grew up and that song would come on, and the whole bar will sing and they would want to sing along. 

Amazingly there is a quilt shop in Hot Springs called Heartsong Quilts.  Great shop with lots of modern fabrics, and patterns by more modern designers.

The kit was very cute and I loved how they had it all set up in a roll with all of the fabrics, and the pattern.

We traveled the rest of the day trying to get across the state of South Dakota.  We should have stopped in Sioux Falls, but DH wanted to go a little further.  What a mistake.  We drove almost 100 miles into Minnesota to find a motel. Got to bed at 1 am only to have a very rude awakening by a woman screaming at someone on her cellphone at 5am.  Unfortunately there were not any shops along the way without wandering way off the interstate.  We got to Wisconsin and it was the same.

DH saw a sign for a quilt shop and decided maybe we should go check it out.  Off the Interstate to Waunakee we went to Mill House Quilting.  All I can say is wow.  I don't know if it was I was tired, and ready to be home after my rude wake up call, but the shop was overwhelming.  They had great shop examples, and lots of fabric but it was too much for my brain that day.

This is their row it is kind of modern, but I liked the colors too.

We traveled through Illinois, and made it home by 12:30am on Friday the 24th.  It was great to sleep in my own bed.  

Another fun vacation memory. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rowing Along Part 2

Yesterday I shared all of the Oregon Rows that we picked up.  I was sad that we could not find any California Rows to pick up while we were there.

I picked up just a couple of Washington Rows.

Long Beach, Washington has Boardwalk Quilts.  

Cute shop with lots of samples. I also purchased a couple of raffle tickets for a quilt raffle in 2016.  They had a kit that I fell in love with the pattern called A Crooked Mile by A Quilter's Dream.  I most definitely need that pattern, I just loved it. 

When we visited Mt. St. Helens we stopped at The Quilted Nest in Castle Rock, Washington.

They had a cute pattern and I loved their fabrics so I purchased the kit.
Unfortunately we left to head toward home on a Sunday so even though we went past lots of  Oregon, Washington quilt shops, most were not open. We also missed out on Idaho, and Montana, but I found a few in Wyoming after Yellowstone.  I really wanted to stop in Cody, but we could not find a motel within 100 miles of Cody.  Yikes.

We stopped at The Quilter's Fix in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Their kit was very cute, but they were out so I had to order it to be shipped. 
I will say I am not disappointed the fabrics are Northcott with the cowboy batik it is a sweet little kit.

The next stop in Wyoming was ET Quilts in Buffalo, Wyoming.  Cute shop, I have purchased from them online before and they had a sweet row, but I knew that I would never be able to make it so I bought the kit.

Some of the really cool things that happened in Wyoming at Yellowstone, we saw plenty of Bison which the boys loved, but we also saw Elk, and deer.  After leaving Yellowstone late in the evening, by the time we found a motel it was in a little town called Lovell.  When we left we went up a highway called 14 Alt, which took us way up into the mountains where we saw moose of all things.  It was a gorgeous drive through Wyoming, and we went past a prehistoric Native American site called the Medicine Wheel, which we had recently been reading about.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Have You Rowed?

Have you heard of the Row by Row Experience?  Quilts shops sign up, design a row with certain dimensions, following a specific theme. This year's theme was water.

Quilters visit participating quilt shops,  could pick up the pattern for the row free beginning June 21, many shops have put together kits and vary in price from just a few dollars to over $30.  Quilters have until October 31, 2015 to turn in a completed quilt featuring 8 different rows.

While driving to Oregon I didn't have any opportunities to find rows.  There was a time schedule in place for an appointment at the tribal office on Monday, July 6.

But once we got to Portland (home base as the boys called it), it was on.

I didn't take pictures of the shops, some allow pictures, and others do not so I decided to err on the side of caution.  

First stop was the local quilt shop called Feather Your Nest in Gresham, Oregon.

 I saw the books and knew that would make a great apron for someone, as would the one with the crayons and art supplies.  Starting to think Christmas here.  I had to have the bridge one it is of all of the bridges over the Willamette River in Portland.

The row was very cute, and the kit was inexpensive so I purchased the kit.

Looking over the kit they have pretty good instructions, and their fabrics were very cute.

Next stop Fabric Depot.  Imagine a store the size of Walmart full of fabric.  The only problem I have is that there is so much it is a bit overwhelming at times.

I did pick out some yardage, and a couple of fat quarters.
Fabric Depot had released 2 different rows and

I think I can manage to make these rows.  One is paper pieced and the other is applique. 

The next shop we visited was Quilting Delights in Happy Valley, Oregon. 
Very cute, newer shop. 
Cute row, great colors so I purchased the kit, and it is all cut out and ready to go, they were obviously using and accuquilt system.

Then across the river to Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn, Oregon.  Super cute shop, lots of eye candy.
I bought these two cute fat quarters, and their row kit because it was all laser cut.
The next shop that we stopped at is a newer shop called Cool Cottons in the Hawthorne Neighborhood in Portland.  Very cool shop in an older home.
Lots of modern fabrics and I saw this and knew a little girl with an upcoming birthday that would love a pillowcase.

I also purchased their kit because of the preprinted labels in it.

There is a new quilt shop in the Alberta Neighborhood in Portland, which is experiencing a renaissance called Modern Domestic.  Love their pattern called Glass Half Full.

It is paper pieced and I just loved the pattern, and can't wait to pull fabrics from my stash for it. 

We went to the beach for a couple of days to can tuna.  There is nothing to compare to fresh canned tuna. 
We managed 24 half pints, and 24 pints. 

We stopped at The Quilted Dandelion in Clatskanie, Oregon.  Cute shop, lots of antique sewing machines on display.

Homespun Quilts in Astoria, Oregon, had lots of cute quilts, and fabrics.  I was a bit disappointed with their row by row though.  It was very cute, but they didn't have any kits remaining, and their instructions were in black and white.  They said I could take a picture of the row though.

Our final Oregon stop was at Center Diamond in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
They had a sweet batik of Haystack Rock which is off the coast at Cannon Beach. 
I just picked up their pattern.

The final Oregon stop was in Warren, Oregon at Fibers & Stitches.  Cute little shop
These were all of the shops that we had a chance to visit in Oregon.  I will share more about the Row by Row tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Volcanoes and Such

Driving to the west coast the boys first spotted mountains in Wyoming  They saw some that were cylindrical and the volcano questions began.

When driving to the reservation we had to go into Lakeview, Oregon, drop down to Alturas, California, and then drive toward Yreka, California.  On our way we saw Mt. Lassen which is a dormant volcano, the last time it erupted was in 1917.

We drove over a portion of Mt. Shasta which erupted in 1786.
The boys visited Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge.
The last eruption was 1866.

So we decided to visit Mt. St. Helens, which incidentally erupted 35 years ago in 1980, I remember because I was 16 and I could see the eruption from my home that morning.   The Mountain has since erupted once again in 2008.

Of course the day we visited it was cloudy, and the mountain was socked in.  I did get this picture where you can see the dome rebuilding.

Our next stop was Yellowstone National Park.  We explained to the boys that we were standing on the top of what is essentially a super volcano.
With hot springs which are boiling.
Paint pots which are hot springs with a lot of mud which bubble.
And boy are they stinky.
And geysers that are erupting.  Unfortunately the park was very busy that day we could not find a spot to park at Old Faithful after looking for over an hour, but they boys were mightily impressed with all of it overall.
Our parting shot of the day at Yellowstone Falls.

One fun vacation memory:  The most requested song on Grandma's Ipod?

There is nothing cuter than listening to the little boys sing the song.