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Saturday, August 5, 2017

July 2017 Adventures and Accomplishments

July was quite an amazing month for our family. My son just finished fourth grade and we learned early in the year about the National Park Service program "Every Kid in a Park" which allows any fourth grader to get a free National Park pass. We started our planning in January and decided we would take an extra long vacation and see as many parks as we could from the comforts of an RV. Research commenced and we found a rental RV back in March. From there, maps were researched, campgrounds reserved, and finally supplies gathered. We headed out on July 7th and over the course of two weeks, we visited 10 states, 8 National parks, and 3 National monuments and drove 4,706 miles. It was ambitious but also incredibly fun and I saw a part of the country that amazed and impressed me. I can't share all the pictures here, but I've made a little slide show of some of the favorites (I hope this works!). 

As you can imagine, the travel didn't leave a lot of time for sewing in July. I took along far too many projects and barely worked on them. After getting settled back at home, I did put some focus last weekend into getting a few done, so I do have a couple to share with you today. I spent a total of 5 1/4 hours in my sewing room in July, mostly focused on the first project!

Before the trip, I had one goal - to get a couple hats made for me and Jenna to wear on the trip. I got hers done and it turned out that it was too tight for my head, so mine is still down in the basement waiting for some tailoring so that I can get it to fit. The pattern is Amelia Hat by Fig Tree, and I've had it for a long time! I originally bought it with the intent to make a hat for Jenna as a toddler. Here she is in the hat on our trip. The fabric is LuLu Lane by Cori Yoder. 


I started the Plus table runner at my Spring retreat, brought it home as a finished table runner, and quilted it in June. The pattern is from the book The Trendy Table by Heather Peterson, and the fabric is Lucy's Crab Shack, which I've had for a long time. I quilted it with wide wishbone shapes and it has great texture. I got the binding done and it is now on the coffee table for the summer. P.S. If you've never made one of Heather's patterns, they are fantastic - she writes so clearly and I love to make up her patterns.

The next finish is also a retreat project. I came home with this one already bound and just needed to add the stitching and buttons, but it lingered in the basement for a couple months. I also got it finished last weekend and pinned it up on the start of a mini-quilt wall in my sewing area. I am happy to have this little one done, as it will go up when all the Christmas decorations come down in my house. 
Here's the start of my mini quilt wall!
The final finish for the month is cross-stitch. I took this one on my trip as it was small. I really thought I'd work on it more, but came home with just part of the pumpkin stitched. No worries, I spent quite a bit of time stitching the week we got home and last weekend and I put the final backstitches into it on Monday night (July 31st!) so it counts as a finish for this month. The pattern is Jack-OH-Lantern by Sweetheart Tree. I've had this one for a long, long time (20+ years) - it was 55 cents when I bought it! Not only does it appear to be out of print, but it isn't even listed on their website. 

While we were gone, my mom took my main machine (Janome 6600) for service and the technician had to reset and/or redo the tension because it was so out of whack. It is back and in good shape - I've attached a quilt binding and made a back since it was home and it appears to be working well. I am really glad to have it back and in good shape and hope that will inspire me to do a little more sewing in August. 

The last thing I have to share is the neat opportunity that we had on day 2 of our vacation to meet up with two other bloggers in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. I met them both online around 10-11 years ago. I met Moneik in person at my first retreat around 2008 or 2009, and have been within miles of meeting Colleen before, but never quite close enough. When we discovered we would all be in the same area at the same time, we made plans to meet for a cookout dinner. It was a great evening and so fun to meet the husbands and kids I read so much about on their blogs. Moneik, who still sews way more than anyone I know, made little bags for all the kids, plus bags for me and Colleen. My bag became the collector for all the little purchases I made during the trip, and now I have it in my sewing room waiting for the next project to be put in it. It really is neat how these online friendships turn into real ones over the years and it was great to see/meet these women and their families. 

With that, I will leave you to your weekend - hope you have a great one! It is unseasonably cool in Indianapolis, with no 80's in the 10 day forecast!! I plan to get some walking in, throw open the windows, and do some stitching and sewing. 


5 comments:

Kate said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful trip. You did a lot in the few days you were home. Hopefully August will be a very productive month for you.

Laura said...

What a great trip! I'm sure you will make up sewing time this month.

While we were on vacation in Canada, we discovered that their national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites offer free admission in 2017. We are not even Canadian, and we got in free! So nice to take a vacation and not spend a ton of money.

Moneik Stephens said...

Wow, such a cool vacation and you even got a bit of sewing done at the end of the month. Again, it was so great to see you again and meet your family as well as Colleen's Family. We're going on our own little road trip to KS/MO this weekend, but for a funeral, so I'm sure there will be no quilt shops.

Carol said...

What a wonderful family trip, Jennifer! We did a similar one back in 2000 but only made it to four national parks. We didn't rent an RV, though, and I'm wondering how you enjoyed that part of the experience. I've always dreamed of taking an RV trip through the west when we retire, but my husband is resistant. He worries about driving it...

Love the cute hats and I think your mini-quilt wall looks wonderful. The cardinal is my favorite :) Such a cute little pumpkin finish. I need to pull my fall pieces and get to work! Although with my son's wedding in just two months, I doubt I'll be doing much stitching!

Enjoy your evening and glad you all arrived home with such special memories :)

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful trip and beautiful finishes!