Meemaw Christmas Adventure

On Thursday, my Meemaw friends and I packed into the clown car and headed out for our Christmas Adventure. This is the first time we took a trip without a set agenda. We just knew we wanted to participate in the small town Texas Christmas celebrations…and do a little shopping.
Our trip began with a visit to the Pottery Ranch, followed by lunch and pie at the Bluebonnet Cafe. Our destination was the Stagecoach Inn in Salado, Texas. This historic inn is in the process of renovation. In fact, downtown Salado is also being renovated. On the first night, we attended the night parade. It was such a treat to see the children dressed in lights and wavy Merry Christmas from their parade vehicles. We visited Round Rock the next day. The city was in preparation for their family night, which we did not attend.
We spent the rest of the day shopping in Salado. We visited with a group of very interesting women. They belong to the outside adventure group, the Sisters on the Fly. Their trailers were decorated for Christmas. The women were so friendly, and invited people to join them in their trailers as they shared information about their group. My Meemaw friends would love to do this, but it would be a disaster if we had to pull our own trailer. Besides, we like the comfort of a hotel while traveling. Membership does not require a trailer, however. It seems like a fun group of women.
Then, that night, we participated in the Salado Christmas Stroll. The shops provided entertainment and food as we strolled down the main street. One of my sons had told me about the Strawberry Patch . The store has all types of excellent coffee served in the store; and sold either as beans or ground beans.
The real hit for me was the parade and Market Day in Georgetown. I lived in Georgetown back in the ’70’s and it holds a special spot in my heart. I love parades, big or small. I found myself marching along with the bands. So much fun! Of course, an excursion to these small towns includes a visit to the Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. Our diets will resume on Monday.
The clown car was packed with our shopping goodies, and the trip home was a bit more crowded. We ended up doing more on this trip with no set itinerary.
Here is a little video of our trip:

Now, it is time to get back to exercising, eating healthy, and working on projects.

Fayetteville Fun

Today I am trying to recover from four days of fun in Fayetteville. My friend, Marti, arranged for us to have a quilting retreat in Fayetteville, Texas. It gave me the opportunity to spend time with Diane, a friend I met through Marti. Diane creates beautiful quilts, and I spent the four days learning so much from her. The clown car was packed to capacity, and we said we would have no room for any new purchases…😉 We found the room!
Our plan was for each of us to make the Village quilt. In preparation for this trip, we pooled our fabric remnants and scraps. We also had cut a lot of the pieces needed for this quilt. Marti had seen a variation of this Village pattern, where the doorway piece had a character fabric. We thought it was so cute, so we gathered all of the fabric characters we had in our stashes. Diane donated so much of her fabric to this project.

Before Marti and I met Diane in Fayetteville, we stopped in Luling. Diane had told us about her friend, Denise, who owns the Holly Dee Quilts Shop. The shop has a great selection of Marcia Derse fabric. There was a quilt made of Derse fabric on display, and I just loved it. Denise was so helpful in providing helpful hints on making this curved log cabin quilt. I added to my Derse stash by buying some more of the Treasure Hunt and Art History fat quarters. At this early stage of our retreat, I already had a new project on my list.
We stayed at Wisteria Bend Cottage, a bed and breakfast in Fayetteville. The owner provided such a personal touch and many amenities that made our stay cozy and comfortable. She even had two ironing boards set up for us. The lighting in the house was perfect for our sewing sessions. It was enjoyable drinking my morning coffee on one of the front porch rocking chairs.

Work Stations

After productive morning sessions, we would head out to eat lunch and explore the beauty of Central Texas. On our first outing, we visited La Grange, Texas. Bistro 108 has a menu that is worth visiting more than once. We visited the Texas Quilt Barn in search of background fabric for the Village quilt that Diane is making for one of our Meemaw friends. Diane is so generous with her time and skills. The Texas Quilt Barn will be a year old this August. It had a nice variety of fabric.

These are the results for my first morning session. Diane showed us fabulous short cuts for piecing, measuring, cutting, and so much more.
On the third day of our retreat, we drove to Giddings, Texas. We have had so much rain, so the landscape is filled with every variation of green you can imagine. We were lucky that the weather was still cool-ish in the morning and in the evening.

Diane had told us about a quilt shop in Giddings that had quality fabric at great prices. We drove over 30 miles, on country roads, in the middle of nowhere, to get to Meme’s. After forty minutes, we arrived at our destination, and I could not  believe the amount of cars that were parked on the lawn surrounding the house/shop. Inside, we found a crowd of women, dropping off quilts to be long armed, and carrying bolts of fabric to be cut or purchased. I was able to find $13 dollar Christmas fabric by Moda at half-off prices. We each walked out with a load of fabric.
Meme’s
This adventure was followed by a trip to Round Top, Texas. This is a 610 acre  town in Fayettville County. The 2010 census reported a population of 90. Round Top hosts an antique show twice a year. After lunch at Garden Co., we visited the artisan shops in this scenic shopping area.
After Round Top, we visited the Spoiled Quilter in the town square in Fayetteville. It had been closed on the first two days of our visit. The shop has a unique way of displaying the fabric, making it easy to view and visualize its use.
When we returned to our cozy house in Fayetteville, we would spend our time walking the town square and neighborhoods. Marti provided us with musical DVD’s to watch and made Cosmopolitans for beverage. We managed to get a bit of sewing, and more cutting done in the evenings.

After four days of sewing, cutting, laughing, and friendship, I could barely get up this morning. I need to relax from my retreat before I get started again.
This is what I was able to get done at our retreat:

35 Blocks…only 100 more to go!😉               Close up

Dancing Zebra

These past five days have been absolutely the best. Nothing can top spending time with my grandson. We packed our days with lots of fun. One day included a visit to the Thinkery, thanks to my friend, Nancy, and her grandson.
One of the activities I had planned for my grandson was drawing. Drawing was a big component in my my lesson plans when I was an educator. I believe that drawing is one of the best ways to harmonize the brain, eyes, and hands. As part of my professional studies, I once read a book by Mona Brooks, Drawing With Children. In her book, the author encourages the reader to follow the exercises. After reading and working through this book, I incorporated more of the techniques into my teaching. Besides being a way to boost learning, drawing is just plain fun.
One of my grandson’s drawing was a zebra. We had checked out a how-to-draw book at the library. He thought his zebra looked like it was dancing…and I agree. It made me feel like dancing. So, I traced the photo of the zebra as closely as I could. Then I thread sketched it so I could keep a memento of the great time I had with my grandson.

Block # 34~ Friday, August 24

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
Thomas Aquinas

True friends are blessings, and I am fortunate to have been blessed with beautiful friends.
This past month just confirmed how blessed I am.
First, I reconnected with Patsy. She was the para-professional that taught with me in my Pre-K class in Georgetown, Texas. As part of my Migrant Teacher duties, I would have to drive out to the farms to visit the migrant families and recruit students. Patsy would accompany me on these adventures. She was a great teaching partner.
Then, I was able to visit with Sharon. She and I have been friends since we were three. Even though we have not seen each other in ages, we were able to pick up as if we were still living across the street from each other.
This past week, I met with Nancy. She went to elementary school with Sharon, and we met when we were about 9. We both went to the same high school and the University of Texas. I love to meet with her whenever I am in the Austin area. She is one of the most creative and inspirational people ever!
Nancy brought her grandson over to swim with my granddaughter. My granddaughter enjoys his company. They had fun splashing in the pool.
I also got a chance to meet with one of my Meemaw friends and her granddaughter. Marti and her granddaughter met us at the Meadows Center in San Marcos, Texas. The two girls hit it off right away. They are the same age.
It was so much fun, seeing my friend’s grandchildren interacting and becoming friends with my grandchildren.
The fabric journal entry for this week just had to be about friends. I decided to use the Celtic symbol for friendship on this block.


Block #34~ Friday, August 24
Friendship
Background: Gray cotton; floral gray, daisy print backing
Technique: Applique

 

 

Meemaw Trip

Last week, my Meemaw friends and I drove to Camp Verde,Texas. We had a delightful lunch and dessert at the General Store. It was a breezy, sunny spring day.
After walking the grounds, we drove to Comfort, Texas. The chickens in the video were absolutely beautiful. I got a picture of a Longhorn, but he bowed his head just as I took the photo. We visited the Tinsmith’s Wife Shop. It has gorgeous yarns. Walking through this store made me want to take up knitting. The Treue Der Union Monument is in Comfort. This monument is in honor of German settlers who were established here. They were against the Civil War. They were followed and killed on their way to Mexico during the Civil War. One of the fathers of the slain settlers went to retrieve the bodies and had them buried in Comfort.
We also visited a very quaint little public library.

The Clown Car Returns

It has been a great three days!
My Meemaw friends and I went to Shulenburg, Texas for the Painted Churches Tour.
Shulenburg is known as being the “Gateway to the Rolling Hills”, and the country side is absolutely gorgeous right now.
The tour itself, was so informative.
We are nerds for history…well…maybe we are just nerds.
We had a great tour guide that provided us with plenty of facts and stories.
The last part of the trip was spent in La Grange, Texas.
I love to visit Texas town squares and court houses.
La Grange is also the home of the Texas Quilt Museum.
The museum is displaying quilts from the International Quilt Festival.
After viewing such inspirational quilts, I have so many things I want to try.
I was in quilt heaven, just studying and admiring the beautiful works of art.
Next to the museum is the Quilted Skein Shop.
Of course, I bought some fabric.
My meemaw job is to take photos and document our trip.
I only have a phone camera, so some of the photos in the video are not too sharp.
But, I hope you enjoy the video anyway.
* I added the corny music only because one of my friends finds the music I choose to be funny.

In Progress

Since I am already packed for my Meemaw trip to Shulenburg, Texas, I decided I had time to start one more thread sketch block. The piece is still in progress, but the major thread sketching is done.

The itinerary for this Meemaw trip includes: the Painted Churches tour, the
Texas Quilt Museum, The Shiner Brewery Tournature hikes and bird watching.
Of course, we will look for a cafe that serves pie.
To entertain ourselves at the hotel, we will be learning how to play Canasta.
Yes, I have gone full circle and turned into my mother.

Time Travel

Spring Break is around the corner, and I have booked a B&B for my granddaughter and I to spend some days in Georgetown, Texas.
My husband and I lived in Georgetown back in 1976.
I wanted to scope out the town, plan activities for my granddaughter and me, and take a time travel trip with my husband. We spent a great day scouting new places and revisiting old memories.
The historic downtown area is just fabulous.
I dragged my husband into Handcrafts Unlimited.
There was a group of women hand quilting a gorgeous quilt.
They invited me to come up every Thursday!
I tried to convince my husband that we need to move back to Georgetown.
He wasn’t convinced.
We also took a tour of the Inner Space Caverns.
I wanted to make sure that I could still go down 70 feet into the earth and get back up.
Inner Space Caverns was one of our favorite places when we lived in Georgetown.
I know my granddaughter will love it.
I made a video to share the beauty of this cavern.

I Wish You a Merry QAL

Blocks 10 (lantern) and 11 (star) are not my best blocks.
I don’t know if my lack of enthusiasm is because this QAL has gone on a bit longer than my nano-second attention span; or if I am too busy thinking of and making other projects.
The QAL has been fun, and I have learned some new skills.
So, I met my two goals for joining the group.
I also discovered a new community of quilters through Facebook.
Another plus is the number of  creative people with whom I have been able to connect through blogs.
These two blocks (10,11) need to be revisited and improved before I add them to a quilt.

Today, I spent time cutting and piecing the keyboard borders out of the Christmas remnants.
I also cut the 4 large corner squares, and 16 end squares for the sash.
Tomorrow is craft day with the Meemaws, so I might not get to cut the sash until Friday.
Wednesday is our walk in Wimberley, Texas…can’t wait for this one.

10 Minute Table Runner

The Village Quilting Shop in Bentonville, Arkansas, had samples of 10 Minute Table Runners in their Seasonal Room. Lori, the store proprietor, was very helpful in showing my friends and I how to make these. We bought fabric and made plans to meet for a Sewing Day.
When I was at A Sewing Basket in Salado, Texas, I was given a copy of directions for the 10 Minute Table Runner by LaRue Bunnell Clark.
This seemed easy enough, but I still looked up tutorials on YouTube.
So, today, I thought I would spend 10 minutes and make place mats as I saw on some of the videos.
After working for two hours in the morning, and two hours this afternoon, I finally finished a set of 4, “10 Minute” place mats. 

Boy, do I feel like a dummy.
I still plan to make a runner, so maybe the next time, it will only take 10 minutes.


Set of 4
I think I might buy more of this fabric to make a Set of 6.
It takes 1/2 yard for the backing, and 1/3 yard for the center to make one table runner or two place mats.
Note: I often view YouTube videos by Jean Truelove.
She is very talented and creative.
Her videos are fun.
The one I watched today had a sad note.
Jean mentioned at the end of the video, that she had received a not-so-nice comment on her YouTube video.
To think that someone would take the time to be mean and negative to a person who is offering ideas and information on how to create, is something that really bothers me.
Life is too short to be negative.
And it is never acceptable to be mean to others.
I just felt I needed to say this.