Got it done

Wheew…..we did it.  Hubby and I took a 4×8 train layout and gave it new life in just over a week.  It is now “set up and ready to run” at the Apple Scrapple Festival – Craft Show on Saturday.  It’s amazing how quickly you can do this when the bits and pieces are at hand. Given a little spray paint, spray glue, craft paint, along with hubby’s electrical mind and railroad sense….we are set up and ready.  We will be handing out fliers for the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club open house, answering questions and promoting the model train hobby!

Enjoy the photo’s….and if you don’t remember what we started with, look back a couple of days on the blog!

Ready to unload

We arrived shortly past 4 pm, ready to unload at Apple Scrapple.  All the boxes came in to the cafeteria at Woodbridge Middle School in Bridgeville DE!

Once they were all in, the hubby got busy with the wiring, and I started unpacking scenery and staging it on the layout!

Yard masters shack

(You would never know that 48 hours ago that building was a yellow plastic looking building. Now it looks like it has been sitting in the yard for years.  I impressed the hubby with the peeling paint look on the door and window frame….the magic of paint)

My favorite view

This photo above is my “FAVORITE” view.

A long shot through town (yes, I know, the road needs work….that is what super glue is for in the morning..)

View down Main Street

I set up the “raffle prizes” for 1st & 2nd place, along with box cars and pillow cases to buy.  I will be replacing those 2 bankers boxes in the morning with a couple of “plastic milk crates”….covered in fabric.  I want the Harry Potter set to be elevated a little higher. Our buddy, Leonard, will be keeping a watchful eye on things overnight!

Table is set

It sure is a big improvement from what we started with last Wednesday!  Remember this??

Step 2 adding ballast paint

So; with determination, we put together a 1/2 decent 4×8 model railroad layout in a week, complete with weathered track and buildings, and a few trees and shrubs thrown in for good measure.  I hope that the “viewing public” enjoys it on Saturday.

The craft fair at Woodbridge Middle School opens at 9 am!  Stop by and say hello, pick up a flyer, and get some raffle tickets!  See you there!

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Autumn Jubilee and more model railroad display work

If you have read my blog for a period of time, you know that I enjoy following posts by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Carole has been writing and sharing mystery quilts – of which I have done a couple; and last fall she did a sew along, and in December she did one as well.  Her projects are easy to work with, as you do the steps in small “chunks”.  This month, she is running her annual “Autumn Jubilee” on the blog, and there is another sew along.  The pattern this time is called Stars on Autumn Lane.  So far, it is looking like an easy project to make. I love that she gives out multiple sizes, so you can make a table topper, a lap quilt or a twin.  I told her in a comment I was GLAD she did not give out the KING SIZE info, or I would make one!  You see, when I get started with one of Carole’s patterns, I have SEW MUCH FUN, and want to “keep making” the units.

Do you remember my leaves and pumpkins from last year?  Well, you may remember I made THREE table runners doing that project, and those were Carole’s patterns!  And last month, I blogged about the place mats I was working on – Still playing with Autumn Jubilee 2016

Anyway, it is NOT too late to get started and sew along!  So, go visit Carole’s blog for the cutting instructions –Stars on Autumn Lane cutting instructions

and visit today’s post for the first block assembly – Block A – Stars on Autumn Lane

Now, you know me, I like to sew along!!  I have not even gotten started!!!!  I do have my box of Autumn Jubilee fabrics and stuff from “last years project”; so once I have some time, I can get busy.

You see, I haven’t been in my sewing room in over a week, because I have been helping the hubby get ready to display a model railroad set up at the Apple Scrapple Festival this weekend in Bridgeville DE. The display will feature HO model trains and we are promoting the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club open house season coming up in November through January.

He has had me painting and adding various elements to the scenery.  We loaded the SUV last night with 8 boxes of scenery, two boxes of trains, a table, 2 folding chairs, 2 bar stools, a box of brochures, a raffle ticket box and donation box, 2 great raffle prizes, box cars to sell, and much more that I can’t even think about right now.  Once we get the train display all set up tonight, I will get a few pictures!  In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of some of the scenery I have been playing around with —

Back of the School House

The school house is mounted to foam core board, and I have added a gravel parking lot and a green space between the building and what will be the edge of the train tracks.

20171009_200642

Added lots of green to “plastic model trees” to give them a more realistic look.

Weighting down the foam core board

Along side of the railroad track, I have some greenery going in next to the foam core board to “soften the edges”.   This piece of foam core was painted to give the appearance of concrete; for sidewalks and parking lots; then glued down to the layout.  The paint cans are to hold it down until dried.  Then the buildings will be placed after we transport to the set up location.  These buildings in the photo are not in position and have since been painted to give them a less “plastic” look.

This is “just a peek” at what I have been up to all week!  If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville DE on Saturday and look for us in the Woodbridge Middle School Cafeteria!  (Listen for the train whistle!)http://www.applescrapple.com/

Crafting and model railroad displays

So, I know, you expect to read about quilting. Sorry; not today. I put on my wife hat the last few days and went to help the hubby, Bill, get a model train display ready. His club, DelMarVa Model Railroad Club will have a space in the craft fair at the Apple Scrapple Festival    next weekend in Bridgeville DE.  (You really have to go to the Apple Scrapple link and read about this very unique fall festival!).

Anyway, back to trains.

Hubby & I took the “lead” to get the display ready, the equipment sorted out, the “stuff” to the festival next week.   The train display is a 4′ x 8 ‘ display, built with a foam base and wood framing; that sits on saw horses.  Transporting it is a challenge, but it can be done.  Thankfully we have a member with a truck bed that is “big enough”.

The display was made by a member over 13 years ago and has been transported once a year, just for this festival. (Typically the club does not set up displays outside of the club facilities).  After all those years, the display needed some work to freshen it up somewhat.

The club had a big donation of Bachmann EZ Track, which is “roadbed and rails” on molded plastic.  To give the layout a little more ‘realistic’ look, we decided that weathering (painting) the track would give us the look we were after.  Rust-oleum makes some GREAT paint products, and we used several different types. Over the last 2 days I have made 1 trip to Lowes, and 2 trips to Wal-mart to pick up “the perfect paint”. I will try to identify the product with the photo’s.

Bill decided on a track plan that made sense to his “operations” mind.  He wanted switches, and a yard track, so multiple trains could be run and staged.  That is a huge job, deciding on which curved track pieces will fit the parameter of the existing track. The track has different curve radius, and you need the right one to work!   (I didn’t take a photo before he got started).  He worked on that track plan for several hours on Wednesday night.  I showed up with him on Friday afternoon, and we worked until 11 pm getting the weathering done of the track.

First step of painting

We used Rust-oleum Camouflage paint to “dull” the rail, ties and grey plastic molded ballast. The top of the rail cleaned up nicely with a “bright boy” (pumice type stone).

Yard track with weathering pain

Of course, we taped off all the switches and rail connectors.  We lifted & slid the whole yard section off of the layout onto a board, so he wouldn’t have to re-invent the track plan again.

Once the base color dried, we taped off the rails to get ready for the next step – STONE PAINT.

Prepping for the stone paint

Step 2 adding ballast paint

We used a product – Rust-Oleum American Accents Stone Spray – in a grey.  Gives great texture to the “ballast area” of the track.  It can be pretty messy, so we did as much as possible “off the layout”.  It takes HOURS to dry too.  Yes, it is back to grey, but it has a really great texture that gives the impression of stones (ballast). The ties are still brown, and the top of the rail has been cleaned up from the brown paint.  (An entire roll of painters tape was used in covering the rails while painting.

Setting the yard back in place

We left it to dry overnight, and on Saturday afternoon, we set all the track back in place.  Not before we considered changing the entire layout though! We wasted an hour trying to figure out a ‘better plan’, and went back to the original.  In the process, buildings were pulled out of storage boxes and set around the “town” .

Once we decided on which buildings to use, Bill got busy finding trains that would run on the small layout well, and have a variety to look at.  Because of the small radius of the inside track, only cars in the 36′ (scale) could be used.  I got busy trying to figure out scenery, and making “bases” for the buildings to set on using foam core board, and lots of spray paint.

Checking the trains on the curves

The area where the small auto is sitting was painted with flat grey auto primer, then some more of that “stone paint” in brown on the curve by the track.  While the brown was wet I added some green ground cover.  The next step for that piece is add some darker grey paint in the parking lot, and perhaps expand the green space between the courthouse building and the track. Once the base is satisfactory, the buildings will be “glued” to the foam core board, and then the whole section will lift off and go in a storage box for transport. You can’t transport this type of layout due to it’s size with the buildings on it.  In the photo above the train is handling the curve well, but we find there is a “hump” in the track at the base of the curve (opposite the black road). That is Bill’s project for today.  I will work on the main platform scenery too; getting the pink foam, and the brown paint covered up, while Bill also works on extending that road end.

I’ve got lots more scenery work to do; and need to add some “shrubs” on the edges of the foam core board to camouflage the edges.  (This board had a plastic coating for photo’s and was a bear to cut decently….but you use what you have and fix it up afterwards).  The point of this layout is to represent something you might “build at home quickly”, and to show how you can take it up a notch or 2 from plastic track.  We will probably have 40-50 hours into this display for a “one time” viewing. I am learning about products along the way.  And, proof that you don’t have to be an expert to have a half decent model display.  Of course, if you are building a more permanent display in your basement, or spare room, you will spend much more time.  The permanent displays at the DelMarVa Model Railroad club are greatly detailed, and done with  precision.

Figuring out building placement

You can really see the texture of the ballast showing in this photo.  We tried hard to vary the intensity of the paint so it wasn’t all “uniform”…because in real life, it is not.

I will add a few photo’s after it is finished and set up. We will be at Woodbridge Middle School, in Bridgeville Delaware for the Apple Scrapple Festival on Oct 14.  If you are in the area, find the display in the cafeteria.  Stop by and say hello and see what you think in person.

NOTE – these are HO trains, and there is one of our special Maryland and Delaware 40 foot box car in the above photo.  Maryland Delaware is a regional short line in the area, and they gave us permission to use their logo on the cars. DelMarVa Model Railroad club currently has  40 foot double door box cars for sale, and you can find the order form on the club website http://www.delmarvamodelrailroadclub.org/

Maryland & Delaware Railroad 40-foot double door box car. Athearn HO scale custom built for the Delmarva Model Railroad Club. Completely assembled and ready-to-run with metal wheels and knuckle couplers. Two numbers are available: 1984 & 2011. $19.00 each plus $6.00 each for shipping. Send check or money order (payable to DMRRC) to DMRRC, P.O. Box 19, Delmar, DE 19940

 

 

 

Class project and Block 13 & 14 and Fabric Acquisition

I am only a week behind, but I am blaming it on  taking another class!  This post was to be short and sweet, as I am leaving in under an hour for a “fabric acquisition road trip” with my friend Nancy, but I got to wordy, and never got it posted! I acquired LOTS of nice stuff on that f.a.r.t……………. We went to shop at The Dusty Attic, in Fruitland MD.  The shop is closing out all merchandise in the next 2 weeks, and we concentrated our purchases in the 50% off room.  I picked up several 1 yard pre-cut neutrals for the stash, and 4.5 yards of a fantastic brown that has a wood grain feel to it.  I also purchased several “book” panels and plan on more story books for the littlest grandchild.  They were cutting Insul-Brite from a 56″ wide bolt, and I got a yard of it; which will be awesome for pot holders or a casserole carrier in the near future.  All the books were going for $5, and I picked up one about machine quilting.   We got some great deals, but it is sad to see a business you have dealt with over the years have to close up for any reason.

I got distracted last week and had to play catch up with the Pat Sloan’s quilt along.  Grandma’s Kitchen is currently on Block 14.  I finished Block 13 on Friday.  I thought it was time to work with the purple and the orange. I love the way this worked out.

Block 13 Grandma's Kitchen

This afternoon I was able to finish up Block 14.  Pat called it Salt & Pepper, and I thought about that when I picked my fabrics. I had this black & white Scottie Dogs fabric and think it depicts the pepper quite nicely!

Block 14 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

My collection of blocks so far look like this:

Grandma's Kitchen 1-14

Going to need more yellow, orange and black in the coming weeks for the blocks.  I still have lots of the 1930’s reproduction fabrics I haven’t used.  (Today I was tempted by another yellow fabric, but decided that the print was just too big for this project!)

Are you working on the Grandma’s Kitchen quilt along too?  Pattern is by Pat Sloan and can be found here – Sew Along Pattern  

Beyond Block 13 & 14, it was Quilt Guild week in Dover for me.  Monday evening was the meeting and lecture.  Three of us from “lower slower Delaware” drove up together and attended the meeting.  I drove up and back on Monday evening.  I had signed up months ago for the class on Tuesday.

The class this month at Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware was with Sandi Blackwell.  The guild meeting and lecture was on Monday evening, and the class on Tuesday .  (Next time I decide to do a class the day after the meeting, I am getting a hotel room! It is an hour drive each way to Dover, and I had to hit the road very early for the class.)  Anyway, Sandi lectured on her Square-agonals technique and showed a lot of her different quilts during the trunk show. (Take a look at Sandi’s website).

The premise of Square-Agonals is to learn a special construction method and not have to cut any setting or corner triangles.  It was a fun project. I did my pre – cutting last week, and I was ready to sew!  We started out making a basic square in a square block, and sashing it.  We then constructed some interesting blocks made with rectangles that we cut on the diagonal and reassembled.

Spiral Out workshop

She showed a technique for aligning the points of the triangle when reassembling those blocks.  (Tips & techniques are explained in her many books). I did my stitching using my trusty Featherweight Bessie!

Bessie is working hard

I thought I set my 1/4″ and seam guide, but I goofed it up, and I had FAT quarter inches on my basic block, and they turned out “too small.  Sandi gave a quick solution which did not include ripping out the seam, and I was able to “repair the damage”.  I also rechecked and reset my 1/4″ and seam guide.  I think I had it up “too close” to the needle, but once it was checked and adjusted, all went well.  I assembled my pieces according to the pattern, and then Sandi showed us how to “mark” with her special tape, and get it ready to cut apart.marked and ready Spiral Out

This view is from the “other” side of the table.

marked and ready Spiral Out

 

squareagonals

My project was in 3 pieces when I left for the day, and I came home, had supper, and got busy doing some reassembly. (Look for more photos on Facebook…     Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Facebook

(The classes are held in a church with GREAT lighting, and great organization by the current VP – Mary Dawn.  I enjoy going up to take classes, but can’t do it very often.    )

Once I sewed the 3 sections together, it looked like this –

Square-agonals project

See how the tape on it was now on the “outside edges” ? The premise is to stabilize those cut edges because they are all on the bias and might stretch.  It got removed after the 1st round of borders went on.

1st round of borders on

At this point I realized I left my pattern instructions at the guild, on the cutting table; so a quick email to the guild vice-president and the instructions were sent to me in the mail.  Since we had done the pre-cutting, and I still had that worksheet, I had a photo, and could piece it together.  (One advantage to having everything cut ahead of time I suppose!!)

Got the pattern in the mail yesterday and here is the final result –

3 borders on

The project measures out at 32×52.  This afternoon I got it layered and have started some very “basic” quilting.

What are you working on this weekend?

Small projects this week

This week was time for smaller projects.  I had the chance to spend some time in Ocean Pines Maryland earlier in the week with an embroidery group.  I invited two friends of mine to come along, and they were welcomed and felt that the time was well spent.

Every time I go, I learn something about hooping, alignment, stabilizing etc.  The group leader, Anna, is a wealth of knowledge.  I was able to do a little “show & tell” of the project I did the last time I attended.  We had embroidered “crab bibs”, and I finished the sewing in the interim.  These are “full size adult bibs”; which I will gift to some friends at Christmas.

Crab Bibs

The bibs are 2 layers of fabric, so should help keep the clothing underneath clean while those wonderful blue crabs are consumed.  I kept a paper pattern of the bib, in case I want to make them again.

Crab for bib

This was a fun summer time project.

As I got ready for this weeks gathering, I decided I would go for a fall theme.  I had downloaded this great, free (this month only) design from Embroidery Library -Autumn Elegance Deer #M15361, 12464 stitches. (Size is 3.87″x 3.18″).  The shirt is a golden brown, and I decided to go a bit lighter with the body of the deer so it didn’t get lost on the shirt.

TShirt

I love “FINISHING” a project when I start something new.  Now, I just need for the Fall weather to settle in….after next week.  I took with me another long sleeve t-shirt, in red.  I never got it stitched, but it is ready to go with stabilizer already on.  I am hoping to get a design loaded in and have it stitched out this weekend.

My other project this week was the log cabin cross banner.  I have it finished, ready to gift.  I used my “oops” blocks on the back of the banner.  I thought it would be fun to include them.  I quilted it with “glow in the dark” white thread (40wt Superior) on the front, and silver bottom line (60 wt Superior) in the bobbin.  After I finished quilting, binding, labeling and a hanging sleeve, I ran it through the washer & dryer, and while still damp, I blocked it to make sure it squared up nicely. (Yes, that binding is Susie’s Magic Binding. I went scrappy on the yellow flange!)

blocking the banner

I use one of those old fashioned folding cardboard cutting boards and use the lines to keep things square, along with my 6×24 ruler and my 12×12 ruler for the corners.  I like to block it, because I know it is going to hang and I want it square. The cardboard cutting board is on the floor and my pins go through the cardboard, the carpet and into the wood under the rug. I set a floor fan to blow across the project so it dries completely overnight.

Here is a peak at the label I made on my embroidery machine.  I like to fuse it to the back of the quilt, and catch 2 edges under binding. The other two sides get hand stitched.

Banner label

I did a hanging sleeve that will hold up to a 4″ rod.  I like to put the sleeve on before I do the binding, so it is nicely held under the binding edge.  Of course, the sides and bottom of the sleeve are hand stitched down.

Back of Log cabin cross banner

Other fun stuff this week include making bags for the food bank to use over the holidays, when they pass out large items (like turkeys).  I’ve finished 2, and have 3 more cut out and ready to sew. I am using donated upholstery / decorator fabric which is VERY sturdy.   They are also very colorful bags!  I hope to have all 5 ready when I go to Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Monday evening.

What are your weekend plans??  I hope you have a chance to do a little sewing and enjoy your hobbies.

 

 

Block 12 and other bits and pieces

Welcome to new readers! I have had several new followers this week, and I haven’t written anything. It’s that busy Quilt Guild meeting week syndrome.  We had our “first meeting” of the fiscal year on Monday at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE where the new officers were “sworn in”, and it was membership renewal time.  Guess who is one of the co-chairs?  Yes…..(hard word to stop saying)…..At least I am sharing the job, and I don’t have a lot of “STUFF” to cart home!  We have 250+ members and over 1/2 renewed during the hour before the meeting began. Thank goodness for great volunteers, who worked the tables and who accepted checks, handed out membership cards and checked details for the roster. They did all the work while my co-chair and I helped 7 new members !  So exciting to see the guild continuing to grow.  If you are in our little part of the world, and you are looking for a guild, find our website Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Lewes DE.

Of course, along with the membership rosters to update, I had to “balance the books” with the receipts for the day, and spent Tuesday afternoon with the Treasurer getting checks ready for deposit. We got together at a local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro DE, and filled out deposit slips etc.  Before she arrived, I did manage a little shopping.  I have a class coming up in Dover with Sandi Blackwell.  The workshop is called “Spiral Out Workshop” .  The pattern in the workshop instructions showed Christmas colors, and I decided that is what I would use as well.  I managed to get everything pre-washed, ironed, and pre-cut as instructed. It is all in a basket, and ready for Tuesday, a week from now.  Watch for that project in an upcoming blog post!  (This class is sponsored by Helping Hands Quilt Guild, Dover DE. )

Wednesday is the release for Pat Sloan’s block of the week, Grandma’s Kitchen.  This week she talked about the kitchen door leading outside from Grandma’s kitchen. Sorry, not  1 kitchen door story comes to mind.  My Grandma Bessie lived in an old fashioned trailer with a few rooms attached, and the door from the kitchen area led right out into the living room. Pat talked about setting out all your blocks and looking for colors that needed more representation if you were using more than 2 or 3 colors.  I did that before I chose my colors, but I pretty well decided after block 11 what would be next, regardless of the pattern.  I knew I wanted more yellow and more orange.

12 out of 25 Grandma's kitchen

I think there is a fair amount of red, pink blue green and purple already in the project. That yellow from block one, upper left corner, needed to be used again, and I played a bit with “which orange” to use. I wanted it to show as the “dark color”, so I chose the deeper orange.  I liked this one in particular because it had a touch of blue, and there is a lot of blue elements showing in the yellow patterns.  I used a tone on tone white floral again for the background, the same one as the “apron” block.

Block 12 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

 

I also was able to get my applique stitching done on block 11 and block 8, since my JANOME  8900 is finally home from the repair. (She is purring like a kitten!!)  I am happy to be caught up again!

I got a chance to go on a bus trip on Thursday, with the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. It was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks PA.  Huge place!  Lots of quilts and lots of shopping opportunity.  Since I had a “big day” shopping for fabric on Tuesday, I restrained myself.  I did pick up 3 more red 1930’s reproduction pieces.  I am saving those for another block!

I took my “list” of Superior Threads on hand/needed, and only bought 1 cone of thread, and two packs of needles at their booth.  Usually I buy in bundles of 3, to save about $3-5 per cone. I had stocked up at the Hershey show in July, so I just needed 1 color.  (Talk about restraint, I wanted one of EVERYTHING).  I did treat myself to some “1 yard cuts” of fabric from a vendor who is “getting out of the cotton and going to wool” business.  You can’t pass up $5 / yard quilt fabric.  He was also selling his fat quarters for $1.25 which is about 1/3 of the price everyone else was charging.  I did pick up a few from him.  I was shopping for floral though, and he really did not have what I wanted in fat quarters.  I did find a vendor that had just what I was looking for, and I got 8 or 10. I then found another “bundle” at that same dealer, that had a lovely collection, and I couldn’t resist. No self restraint there.

My plan for the floral fabric is another log cabin cross wall hanging. I did all the cutting on Friday.  On Saturday, I managed to get 2 rectangular sections made. Then, I realized I had done 2 identical units, and they needed to be opposing units.  BIG SIGH.  The pattern I am following is one I have made twice before. You would have thought I would know better. I guess, since it was 2 years ago, I can forgive myself.  Last time I made this pattern, I wrote about it here –  New Log Cabin Cross Banner .

Oh well, I cut more fabric, and made different fabric choices too.  Before I started cutting more fabric, I decided to eliminate the pinks, and went with yellows.  By the end of the evening Sunday, I have the top ready to layer and quilt.  I’m much happier with the fabric choices too.

Log Cabin Cross

Course, I still have those 2 blue & pink rectangle log cabin blocks that I have to come up with “a plan” for.  Hubby said I should figure out how to use them on the back of this project!  Not sure about that idea, but I am sure I can ind a way to use them for something.

What did you work on this past week?  Anything exciting in the coming week???

Grandma’s Kitchen – Block 11

Block 11 for Grandma’s Kitchen is called Peppermint Swirls.  Pattern is by Pat Sloan and can be found at http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/2017/09/free-block-1125-grandmas-kitchen-sew-along-a-weekly-deal.html

Grandma's Kitchen Block 11

My peppermint swirl pieces still need the applique top stitching done.  They are “just fused” to the background piece.  When I get my Janome back, then I can do that stitching. I think I will color match the threads when I do the top stitching.

With each block, Pat tells stories of her memories of both of her grandmothers.  They are sweet stories, and really make me ponder on my own grandmothers. Pat’s grandma always had peppermints.  My Grandma Bessie always had lifesavers in her pocketbook.  I decided to go with the “peppermint swirl” after I thought about the block for a while.  Grandma Bessie always made ice cream with the leftover peppermint candy canes.

Grandma Bessie was the one that I knew the best. She lived about 150 miles away, and we saw her frequently.  I know that when I was really little she lived much closer and my older siblings say she really took care of all of us.  My mother was recovering from cancer following the birth of my youngest sister, and I was just too little to know much of what was going on. I was only 1 1/2 when my sister was born, and I presume my grandmother kept the ship afloat while mother had surgeries and radiation.  I have scant memories of toddler times.  I am told that my mother and grandmother took the 5 children on a trip to Wyoming, and along the way I contracted scarlet fever. I must have been about 3 years old at that time.  When we got home, all the children went to stay with my grandmother, while my mother cared for me in our home that had been quarantined by the health department.  I know that my grandmother made silk nightgowns for me, from my father’s WWII parachute.  I also know that the garments, linens and so forth all went into the incinerator in the back yard.  I remember lying on the sofa in the living room, under the big picture window in those silky nightgowns.  Grandma would dye them yellow, because it was my favorite color.

My best memories begin when I was probably elementary school age, and got to spend more one on one time with her.  By then, she lived in the Mojave desert, care taker of a ranch. It was a place where the “wealthy” people came on the weekends.  I don’t really know what work she did; but I do remember hiking in the hills, picking up arrowheads, and learning about rattle snakes and the like.  Grandma always carried a shovel with a sharp edge in the trunk of the car. She was a feisty woman, and there was not much she would not try to do on her own.  She was a “rock hound” and a collector of those pretty bottles that changed colors in the hot sun.  Her window sills were lined with the bottles she had gathered around the desert.

This photo was taken of her in 1973 or 1974. I remember she was excited to see my “new” car.  I was 17 or 18, and she was approaching 80.

And this photo was from the late 50’s, near her “new car”.  It’s funny, I think she had that same car until she quit driving! I look so tall next to my baby sister!

We had some lovely adventures in that old car, driving trips out in the desert to lava fields and dry lake beds, and to the base of Mount Whitney, and out to old abandoned gold mining towns. Why, as school age youngsters, we even went to the Senior Citizens center with her, and learned to play cards.  She really made each of the 5 children feel special in their own right. She was the typical grandma in an apron, cooking something wonderful for dinner, dishing up scoops of ice cream and tucking you in at night!

This is a fun project and brings up lots of lovely memories.

What’s happening in your sewing room this week?