What did I accomplish 8 and a half weeks in a 25 foot 8 inch motorhome- pieced by hand – this much!  “Tumbling into Insanity” is off to a good start.


75 inches wide by 20 inches high


I should have been able to get done with more – but what can I say I was looking at the scenery more than I thought I would and I was giving my thumb time to stop aching – and it is almost 100% better since I tossed the thumb brace to the bottom of the sewing basket – guess it just didn’t work for me.  Yes I brought way too many projects with me and it didn’t take up much space so it worked out fine.


As I write this Saturday night in northern Iowa we should  be getting  home in Arkansas sometime today-Tuesday- late in the afternoon if all goes as planned – I didn’t know if we would have internet in both the areas we plan on camping at in Missouri (one night each stop) – sometimes those Ozark mountains in Missouri interfere with computer plans – so I thought as I have internet right now I will get my post done for Tuesday.

Another Dutch Oven meal on Friday night –beef stew and crescent rolls – take the stew  out of the oven and put a lid on it to keep warm and put the crescent rolls in on parchment paper for 12 to 15 minutes and instant dinner – I usually don’t go with flowers on the table while camping LOL but this is the rose the kids gave me on my birthday on the 24th and it traveled home with us.  I put it in this water bottle with a little water in the bottom and put it in the refrigerator on the door shelf and it has traveled well.  When we get to the campground I take it out of the fridge add more water and it is ok.  Yes the picnic table quilt got spotted up some here and there with food and debris – at one time bird poop possibly with purple huckleberries! (more than you want to know?)  But it has been washed numerous times and it is pretty darn clean other than a stubborn stop or two – but you know I made it for the outside table expecting it to get spots here and there and these wild fabrics hide them pretty good.


Fall foliage in Northern Iowa


A pretty walking park along the river.


Egret in the river at the campground.



One of our last campsites – nice and shady and no neighbor next door. Corp of Engineer parks – always clean and usually level ground or pavement to park on.  Only electric – but water near by to fill up the water tank and a dump station near the entrance to take care of tanks when you get ready to leave – a plus is the parks go with Mike’s senior pass (which I now need to pick one up too having turned 62 last week – only $10 for life and sometimes tickets for tours ect. want a pass from each person – best $10 you spend when traveling) C.O.E. parks with pass are usually $8 a night!  A good camping price.  That pass is needed also for admittance back into the park if you leave to go do laundry or grocery shopping ect at the national parks-we normally go together outside the park but can never tell if you do it yourself you need your own pass.


So we are back home and give me a day to get things in order and quilting at home will begin!  I’m ready to get back to my routine before winter comes!  Thanks to all of you that stuck with my blog as it became so much more a travel blog than a quilting blog – I loved reading the comments and answering the questions some of you asked about the places we saw and questions about camping – it is not for everyone and I do not know if I will ever go for longer than the 8 weeks again like this trip – we will see.  It was great to see so many wild animals – the bears sure were a big plus we had never seen so many on one trip before and never the grizzly bears.

EDITED:  I write this postscript at 7:45 PM at a campground near Springfield MO.  We are 4 hours drive from home so for certain will get home on Tuesday the 30th.  I just read a blog post from “A Sentimental Quilter” about her trip to Vermont to see the original Dear Jane quilt and wanted to link to it – it looks amazing for the age of the quilt – someone took care of it well before it went to the museum.


Around the World Blog Tour

by Karen on September 29, 2014

in quilts

Way back when this tour first started a couple months ago someone asked me to do be a part of the tour and I knew I would be on the road and didn’t know what kind of internet reception I would have so I said no.  When I was asked again last week by Michelle of The Jypsy Quilter I thought why not, while I am typing this we are visiting our daughter in Wisconsin and we are parked at a campground near by and have internet this week.  Michelle and I have been in touched off and on throughout the last 3+ years and I have seen her blog move from the Desert Quilter to something else (can’t remember) to the Jypsy Quilter – she has moved from Nevada to Kansas to — LOL she moves about some.

One of the questions to answer is “What Am I Working on Now”  well I am in a 25 foot motorhome right now and have been for the past 7 weeks.  I brought two hand piecing projects along with me and haven’t really been busy on either and I have been letting my arthritis in my thumb improve – which it has!!  –

My Tumbling into Insanity hand piecing project didn’t progress as much as I thought it would but this is what I am working on now  – this will eventually be a queen size quilt – I might continue working on it by hand or I might start in with the sewing machine when we get home. The other project I brought with has been touched briefly and I will continue on it when we get home.


My other projects that I will continue working on when we get home are two applique quilts (heck there are a lot of projects to continue working on when I get home!!)  This one is called Floral Fantasy and I have the border glue basted in place and a little applique started but I would really like to get the border finished soon (the corners are finished)


Love Entwined is another applique project that I must get back to – I have barely started on it and it will finish about 90 x 90 I think? I do not have the instructions with me so would need to check that when I get home.


Besides these three projects I have several put aside to quilt and one patchwork on the design wall at home waiting for me to get back to it.  Also this Diamonds are Forever hexagon quilt needs me to make a border for it.  I did finish the hexies but I need to sew the last rows on to it and to think of a border for it – I think I will continue the hexie theme but not sure – I want it to fit my bed so it has to be bigger.


I also have a Dear Jane quilt half way finished on the quilting frame.


Just thinking of all the quilts waiting for me to finish at home makes me tired LOL.

How does my work differ from others:  I guess my work differs in that I do most of it by hand – both the piecing the quilting and the needle turn applique.  I find hand work very soothing and relaxing and I have always had a not so good relationship with sewing machines – but I’m happy to report the sewing machine and I are getting along better the past year which is a good thing because I need to start using it more as the arthritis in my hands gets worse the older I get!  I am completely self taught by reading quilting books, looking at quilting blogs – love the tutorials – and some quilt shows.  I do take a craftsy class now and then but I do not go to workshops or classes as I only like to quilt when I want to quilt and I don’t know if I would be in the mood when a class was scheduled.  Also in my area of Arkansas there is not a lot offered as we have no local quilt shop.  Another thing that is different from some is that I do not rush a quilt – I want to enjoy the whole process – I can not see trying to get a whole quilt done in a weekend – what is the fun in that – I understand that some of you have deadlines – deadlines is just something I do not and will not deal with.  I steadily work on my quilts and they do get done, some faster than others – some at a very slow pace.

Why do I create?

I made my first quilt back in 1976 or so – I certainly didn’t know what I was doing I just decided I would make one and it turned out very badly – I tried another – same results – of course it might have helped if I had actually picked up a quilting book and read about how to do it.  I didn’t really get into quilting a lot until the late 1980’s when I got sick at the age of 36.  I got very sick in 1988 – it took awhile for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with me and by then – well lets just say if I hadn’t responded to medication when I did I might not have lasted a year or two.  I have auto-immune diseases – a rare one that most haven’t heard of called Polymyositis and I also have lupus which is in remission for many years now – fibromyalgia joined in some years back and now I also have osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  But like I say – I am lucky that medication keeps everything well under control.  I live a normal life for a 62 year old (just had a birthday) –

So instead of thinking about my illnesses I started to get involved in quilting – it really helped me deal with everything without going into a depression.  It is my creative outlet and my stress reducer.  Quilting keeps my mind occupied and my hands busy.  After awhile instead of it being something to keep busy and keep my mind occupied it become a very important huge part of my life – I AM A QUILTER.  I  sell some of my work at a museum gift shop in Little Rock, Arkansas- I am in their files as a “textile artist” sounds so professional! – I only sell when I feel like it – I want no pressure in my life.  I want no dead lines!  I want to relax and have fun.  So that is why I create.  I mainly quilt for myself and my family.  I am also a  blogger as I always wanted to write but I am not a writer of books – I like to write my blog as though y’all are sitting here with me quilting and chatting.  I never intended to be a daily blogger and the first years I wasn’t but the last several I have just felt the need to sit and write.

How Do I Work?  I mainly use other peoples patterns – I am not good at drawing up patterns.  I do choose patterns I like and some times change them up a little and use the pattern as the base for an idea.  I am very comfortable with hand work –  you can take it anywhere with you.  I have a small sewing room – or should I say a narrow sewing room.  I use a floor standing hand quilting frame as you can see and I love it.  For being a quilter that mainly hand quilts this is a perfect space – I would of course love a larger work table and work space – but you have to be happy with what you have.  I love scrappy quilts but also like the formality occasionally of very matching fabrics.  When I quilt on the machine I take my Juki to the dining room table for more room.


I was supposed to nominate 3 other people to blog for the tour but as I got in this late a lot of people I would have asked have already done it  – but I got Teresa from Fabric Therapy to join in – Teresa is just wonderful at applique – I love her work and really admire the quilts she makes and designs – so hop on over and see her work – she will be posting next week.  I have been following her for some time.

Don’t forget about the Craftsy‘s stash sale – the right time to buy fabric.  Last Day!  I ordered a mystery box of batiks!  10 – 1 yard pieces for about $5.00 a yard! what a steal.

Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale!

(sponsored post)
Take advantage of up to 70% off ALL project kits, fabric, yarn and supplies. Shop now to save before popular products sell out! Hurry, offer expires September 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale and save big!  Use the links to get to the sales Smile


A Bundle of Fabric

by Karen on September 28, 2014

in family, quilts

Quite a few years ago I went on a bus trip to a quilt show with the Rogers Arkansas quilt guild.  My daughter’s mother in law, Nancy belonged to the group and she asked me to come with her as a guest – a chance for us to get to know each other better.  Last year on September 24th (my birthday)  she passed away– way to early and never got a chance to use up her small stash of fabric and patterns.  She always referred to herself as a “wanna be quilter” she wanted to quilt but only made a few small pieces here and there but always wanted to do more.  After she passed away my daughter and the other daughters in law helped her husband go though her things to decide what was going to whom and what was being packed up for Goodwill or whatever.  Jessica (my daughter) got some fabric and quilt patterns – she wasn’t sure if she and Ciera (my granddaughter) would eventually use some of the things or not as Jessica is not a quilter.

It was decided that they would ask me to make a quilt out of some of the items for Ciera.  It was funny seeing what they had picked out though as it was the pattern and bundle of fabric that Nancy had picked out when we went on the bus trip to St. Charles MO about 10 years ago!!  I recognized it right away.  I remember encouraging her to buy it as she was eyeing it and then putting it back then picking it up again.  She said she didn’t know if she would ever make it and sadly she didn’t.  But I will make it for her and give it to our shared granddaughter – what better tribute!  I will make up a label for the back of the quilt saying something like “pattern and fabric purchased by Grandma Nancy and quilt made by Grandma Karen”  don’t you think something like that would be a good way to put it on the label?  I could entitle the quilt “Nancy’s Stars” or something like that.  I know I have some white fabric or other light color to use for the white in the pattern and I’m pretty sure there is enough in the bundle to make it – if not I can find enough from my own stash.


So Nancy this quilt will get made! I’m not sure who you had intended it to go to – but one of your granddaughters will have it.  I am linking to Kathy’s Quilts: Slow Stitch Sunday – getting in the mood for quilting again as soon as we get home in a couple more days.

Don’t forget about the Craftsy‘s stash sale – the right time to buy fabric.

Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale!

(sponsored post)
Take advantage of up to 70% off ALL project kits, fabric, yarn and supplies. Shop now to save before popular products sell out! Hurry, offer expires September 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale and save big!  Use the links to get to the sales Smile


A New Quilt Shop

by Karen on September 27, 2014

in places, quilts, Travel

New to me quilt shop that is.  I hadn’t really intended to stop at a quilt shop while here in Wisconsin but Mike and I were taking a drive the other day while the family was busy with work and school and drove though the town of Belleville and just happened on.  I wondered inside for a look and ended up buying a book – no fabric I didn’t see any on sale.  It was a cute shop and had lots of antique sewing machines around although I didn’t get a photo of them.  The store is called “Patches and Petals”(the Quilters General Store”) they are also on line so I will need to check them out some more.


One area of fabric – the big room is kind of divided a little into separate areas of “types” of fabric.


The bathroom was decorated in Halloween theme – have never seen one quite so decked out before!  And very large.




The little black things on the sink and also some on the floor are plastic black beetles – creepy Smile

I don’t know about you but I love free patterns – here is one for this design that I saw on pinterest – go to RJR Fabrics to see a lot more – wonderful site for sure!!  This quilt would be a great one for using up scraps – all free patterns  are pdf files so you will need a printer to print them out.

My purchase for the day – another Schnibbles book – I love Carrie Nelson’s books and they are some of the few books that I use more than one pattern – so they do get used and always worth the price!


Don’t forget about the Craftsy‘s stash sale – the right time to buy fabric.

Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale!

(sponsored post)
Take advantage of up to 70% off ALL project kits, fabric, yarn and supplies. Shop now to save before popular products sell out! Hurry, offer expires September 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale and save big!  Use the links to get to the sales Smile


Visiting with Family

by Karen on September 26, 2014

in family, places

It’s a good thing that I decided to not go shopping at the local quilt shop while visiting our daughter – I really had to remind myself to stick to sales only like I said I would at the very beginning of the year – and Craftsy is having a fall sale on fabrics, yarns, kits – get your supplies now!!  I am going birthday shopping Smile my birthday was on the 24th just a couple days ago and I get to pick out my present(s)  I have already been looking at the sales recently and wondered when the big sale would start – things well sell out fast so don’t wait for the last minute.

 Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale!

(sponsored post)
Take advantage of up to 70% off ALL project kits, fabric, yarn and supplies. Shop now to save before popular products sell out! Hurry, offer expires September 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Stash of Possibilities Sale and save big!

You know you are in Wisconsin when you see these kinds of signs:


The trees are turning to fall colors


Our campground here is nothing special, some KOA’s can be attractive and have lots of trees, this one doesn’t – they are growing some but it will be awhile before they start to provide a lot of shade – our spot has no tree Sad smile but that is ok, we are barely here anyhow.


Instead we are with these people!  we are lucky the campground is only a couple miles from our daughter and son in law – here they are with our granddaughter – our grandson was teaching karate lessons that morning so he wasn’t with us – he is 14 and a 2nd degree black belt – he teaches all ages!  He has been doing karate since he was 6 years old.


Here he is is – relaxing after working all morning!


This is Ciera she is 12 on Oct. 1st.


We visited a farmers market in Madison that we do every time we come here – love it!


We attended a high school football game as the family supports the local team and it is something they do so we came along.

Ciera’s birthday is one week after mine (mine was the 24th) so we went birthday present shopping, she picked out a book and fleece fabric so that I could help her make a “tie blanket” I didn’t even know what that was mainly  being a quilter – but she found a video on line and we figured it out – Joanne’s had a sale on fleece and she picked out her colors.  Evidently the kids all like to have these for sleep overs and she didn’t have one.


Utah demonstrating how the dog Marley likes to get in the trampoline with him – he just jumps on up through the opening there and jumps around too.


As you all know I have been traveling and scheduling posts in advance so I could keep up with my daily blog – as you read this we are on our way home finally, we are in the last week of travel having left our daughter and Wisconsin behind us this morning.  I will be back to all my quilts soon and back to work on them too.  My thumb is finally feeling better.  I have barely sewed in almost 2 months now and will need to make sure I don’t over do it when we get home.  I will need to start making more of my quilts with the sewing machine and take my time with the hand quilting – those two hours every evening quilting might need to be cut back to one hour instead.  It really helped my thumb taking a break from quilting.


Decorating for Halloween

by Karen on September 25, 2014

in quilts

A little early for Halloween but I thought I would post this photo that I had found on pinterest last year after Halloween so it did me no good then.  I had been reminding myself of this throughout the year but really had no trouble remembering as all year people have been repining this idea so every time I go to Pinterest I see it – I have had close to 3,000 repins on this idea and it isn’t mine!  I have no idea who originally pinned it – which is one of the problems with pining.

From the photo the directions that I would use – would be to cut into either the top or the bottom of the pumpkin to remove the seeds and gunk where you cut depends on how you want to decorate it!  Mark where you want your circles – get your drill out and if you know how to use it get busy – if you do not know how to use it here is a video link

pumpkin decorating

I really think when we get home I am going pumpkin shopping, get the drill out and get busy decorating!!  Have fun and if you decide to decorate your pumpkins this way send me a link to a photo so I can see them!