I really and truly have made progress on the tumblers and I haven’t grown tired of them yet.  My first “block” finished – 10 tumblers to a row by 10 rows.  For some reason I thought this would end up being a square it isn’t obviously.  This piece isn’t pressed but I have a rough figure of 16” x 20” so now I need to figure out how many I need to make for a quilt about 104 x 104.  I’ll deal with that later – Smile math not being my strong suit – I will need to get the calculator out!


I mentioned I was going to get a new light to put around my neck for when I didn’t have good light – I have had the opportunity more than once now to try them out – I have two and I brought them both with me.

Not great photos but here they are – the one on the left sucks big time! Total waste of money in my opinion – I got it for $15 from Keepsake quilting.  The one on the left works great. I have actually had it for 3+ years but didn’t use it much as the strap that went around my neck itched like crazy on my skin.  I took it off and put a ribbon in it’s place – I have to tie it in a bow at the back of my neck but it works – the light is much more powerful and bright.  I got that one from Karen Kay Buckley’s site.  I do not have internet as I write this so I am not linking to the products – I will if I think about it before this post and if I remember otherwise ask me about it and I will get the info to you later or google the name.


Someone asked what does Mike do for relaxation on these trips – I have my sewing and reading – he has his computer Smile really this is what he always does – he edits his photos and if we have connection he is on it off and on just like I do in between our hikes and stuff – can’t hike all the time you know and sometimes it is not nice outside – between some places having more than their share of bugs the weather is not always the greatest.


Some else asked “Are you really comfortable in a small camper” not all the time no – sometimes the chairs get uncomfortable, if my back starts to ache or we want to stretch out – there is always the bed!  Use it like a couch with pillows tucked behind you.


big pillow brought along, lovely view out the windows and I’m ready to recline and stretch out!


And of course I must enjoy looking at this quilt – shoes off before getting on the quilt!!



I took a lot of photos at Badlands so I think this will be a three part blog.  Even though we only spent one evening and one day in the area we saw a lot.  One part will be the plants and what grows & lives here and the other the scenery .

But first I wanted to show that Tumbling into Insanity really has grown – 8 rows of the block now – you know I haven’t even sat down and figured out how many of these 10×10 blocks I need – I think someone did for me but I would have to look back and find the comment -


What grows in Badland National Park – most of the time a desert but this year more rain than normal and it is green!









A lot of plant life – more than I remembered here – this is at least our 3rd visit but the first where the temperature didn’t get above 82 when we were here!


While we were near the little town of Hot Springs SD I decided to see if I could find a quilt shop to pick up some different thread to piece my tumblers.  I had brought a different thread than I normally use for some unknown reason – really I’m not sure what was going through my head.  I didn’t like it so I ran into this shop – totally forgot my camera and just took this photo later from the street.  They had a really neat quilt hanging in the store that the lady said she thought was called “Gypsy Wife” very colorful.  I will need to do a search for it on line when I have decent internet.  (When I was able to get on line before this posted I did a quick search and found the pattern – here is a link – a Jen Kingwell design)I’m pretty sure I have seen it on pinterest and probably pinned it at some time as it really looked familiar.  I did find some thread and will give it a try but it wasn’t YLI hand quilting thread that I love to piece with – I will be watching for it along the way at other shops.


Tumbling into Insanity” has grown a little bit!  or maybe not – I loose track after awhile of what I have scheduled  – sorry if this is the same size as last I showed!


A neat almost ghost town that we pulled up to for a rest break and ate our lunch in the camper along the way to the Badlands National Park – more from the park next.  So much of this country is so isolated that if you ever get a chance or desire to get away from the cities to see the “real” America head to the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana – beautiful scenery!!



Mini Tumblers Tutorial

by Karen on August 9, 2014

in quilts

(I have several post scheduled as I know we will not have internet service at the park we are going to in South Dakota. )

I have had several ask me how do I hand piece the tumblers.  I guess when you do a lot of hand piecing you just assume everyone else knows how to do this.  Really and truly anything you machine piece most times can be hand pieced exactly the same way.  I took photos while I was piecing while Mike was driving.  I don’t get a lot done but I do some.

I mainly use one pin only when piecing in the car and sometimes not even that.  You put your two pieces together as you would at the machine.  I don’t even knot the thread I do several stitches at the beginning – tug on it and you well see it stays put.  With Inklingo I have printed the stitch line onto my solid fabric which is a batik, a creamy light color that has pale blue and yellow mainly mixed in.  When machine sewing you might go from end to end – I leave a quarter inch at the beginning and end.


I am sewing ten tumblers at a time and then sewing rows together – makes it easy when on the road.  So step two would be to match up tumblers for your row.  I put a pin at the seam intersection to hold it in place and I stitch to the seam and slide my needle through.


Then I move my pin to the next intersection and stitch again – I only have the lines printed on the solid so I have to look on the back of the prints to make sure I am on the line.


About every 4 or 5 stitches I take a back stitch to make it stronger.  I do not count stitches per inch – I just stitch and then take a back stitch – I assume it is every 4 or 5 Smile


I just keep working like that and move my pin to each seam as I get to it.


and now I have three rows put together!


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(written Tuesday night Aug 5th)

My mini tumblers are coming along slowly!  I have not been able to do a lot of sewing while we are driving as the roads have been a bit bumpy!  But I have gotten some done.  Here are four rows – the first two are attached the 3rd is waiting for me to get busy and the 4th well have to wait until I do another row because I did it wrong – I should have had the wide end of the green tumbler facing down not up I will do another row and then I can attach that one too.  I will have to watch out for this.  This quilt I am calling “Tumbling Into Insanity” because it will end up being about 104 x 104 inches and by then I will be crazy!!  I do hope in my down time for the next 4 or 5 days that I will make some progress on this quilt.   I have been asked how am I piecing this – I attach one tumbler at a time for a row of 10 then I attach one row of 10 to another row of ten.  I am not zigzagging around with it – the tumblers are 2 inch finished size on the wide bottoms.


We should be South Dakota at Wind Cave National Park on Wednesday late in the afternoon.  that is the plan!  We have never been to this park but we have been in the general area.  We have been to Mount Rushmore more than once and also Custer State Park, we will see some places again and not going to others.  I am writing this post on Tuesday night and scheduling it for Thursday as most of the time we have found that we do not have internet service in the national parks – I could be wrong and we will be out and about in this area for four days in one spot and have a break from being on the road.   I hope to get some good photos of the animals and the caves.

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Two very hot travel days in a row but I know it will change soon.  We are pushing further northwest today.  Yesterday we were in Kansas though and although the air was dryer the humidity very low – it reached a high of 96 degrees – ouch!!

We toughed it out though and got to the historic site we wanted to see.  The parking lot was big and only other motorhomes/campers around and that one was running the generator to keep pumping out the coach A/C and we thought why not and did the same so we would return to a cool vehicle when we got back to it.  With bottles of water and hats we went to the Fort and in and out of buildings with very thick walls that kept the buildings cooler than outside.  So here is a little tour of Fort Larned in Kansas and if you want to read about it.


Big wide open spaces and this lonely tree just called for me to take it’s photo.  I love the shape of it.


Tour through the historic buildings that used to house soldiers in the 1870’s and the officer’s wife’s sometimes came with them – I can’t imagine the heat and all those clothes they wore.  Here is a quilt on the bed in the room – some of the things are antiques others are reproductions.  The quilt I think a reproduction.


A pretty parlor


A barn swallow (I think) guarding it’s nest.


long deep porches – offered plenty of places to rest and drink some more water.


Another quilt! this one had mosquito netting around it.


Old graffiti back when it was acceptable – this are the outside walls of the buildings.  Sandstone I’m sure as this is in the sand hill area of Kansas.



And this quilt is an old quilt – rolled up and in a display case.


And I have made a start on my “Tumbling into Insanity” using Inklingo – I printed everything out last month and now I can sit back and sew when I want to.  Right now I think I will do rows of ten and attach as I go – 10 rows? maybe, that will be easy to handle for now. I am linking to Freemotion by the River today.  I am also linking up to Esther’s WoW -


On to Nebraska today!  Checked weather will start to get cooler if not today then tomorrow – might be running into some rain too.