Monday, October 1, 2007

Saturday's Iowa Sewing Road Trip

As promised, here's my post about our Saturday trip to Michelle's in Iowa!

Of course, I waited until the last minute to do a map online to find my driving directions. The first time I did it the directions merely dumped me in the middle of town. I checked out the street level map and started writing my own directions from the off ramp...I should have stuck with those. Instead I tried it again removing the zip code and it gave what I thought were pretty decent directions. Not!! Michelle emailed with some alternative directions but for some reason they didn't come through in a readable form. It was like HTML run amock.

Mom and I got on the freeway at 7:20. When we got out towards Pewaukee we encountered lanes that were in a standstill because of road contruction. We were just through there two weeks ago and didn't encounter that. As a last minute decision I jumped off the freeway and hopped onto a frontage road. We could see the stand still traffic next to us as we were breezing along. We ended up hitting McDonalds for breakfast and got back on out past Delafield. After that it was smooth sailing.

While driving through Madison I noticed a Hummer Dealership that really got under my skin. On their main flag pole which held an absolutley gigantic flag, they had a Badger flag. On a smaller pole next to it, probably about 10 feet lower and 90% smaller was an American Flag. I realize it's Badger Country and all but to have an American flag that much smaller and lower than a college sports teams flag really chapped my hide. I did notice on the way back that the flags and their sizes were switched...which totally points out that THEY KNOW THAT THEY ARE DOING THIS.

The rest of the drive was easy and uneventful. It's too bad there wern't more leaves turning yet. Hopefully when Michelle and her friends come up in two weeks there will be more color along the way. I had to fire my co-pilot because two road trips in a row we missed our exit. Too busy looking around! Now, in her defense, they did say, "Continue on Hwy xyz" and by continue they should have said to exit at such and such and turn left/right. We went an additional 7 miles and then I said that it just couldn't be right. We got off and turned around. When we finally got to town we wern't in the place that our directions were going to put us so I wasn't sure how to proceed. I did recognize a bunch of the street names though so I knew we had to be close. After I went down a few streets to figure out the address number scheme I called Michelle. We made it!!

We were greeted by Michelle and Louie, their nephew and Louie's sister. All out in the garage putting the finishing touches on the Harley that Louie rebuilt for his nephew. It's GEORGEOUS now. They entered it in a car show over the weekend and it took second place in it's category.

With all of our quilting equipment we headed down to Michelle's sewing room in the basement. She has the best sewing set up I've ever seen!! No wonder the girls always come to her house to sew. I swear, she could run a quilt retreat and no one would have to bring a machine! Wow, her room is sooo cool. She's got a large area with a few banquet tables put together. The whole top is one big cutting surface. The pool table has wood that covers it and turns that into a table top as well Then her quilter is down on the far end. There's also a sitting area. It's all decorated so cute and so quilty!!

We started out by putting my quilt on the frame. I learned quite a bit from learning to load the quilt to making sure it's the proper height up from the machine bed and taunt enough. Ok, so I wasn't as coordinated at not letting the bottom roll not spin but it worked out ok! I sure hope I didn't get too attached to the Sure Stitch Speed controller because that's just not in the budget! I'm used to doing free motion quilting on my machine with the start/stop button so I should be able to do it with the speed controller that I got too. It will just take getting used to. I'm really happy with how my quilt turned out.

We went out to lunch and took a tour of the town and then we were back to sewing. Michelle headed off for the bathroom and Mom was supposed to get her batting ready. Next thing I knew it was over her head and she was making ghost noises. I never laughed so hard. I'm glad that I thought of the video mode on my camera and made some use of it!!

I know my mom gets nervous when I watch her sew so I was sure to stay at the sewing table. I got the binding put on my quilt, I made 6 black and red coasters for Diane and I started on my Breast Cancer Squares.

When mom was done with her quilt we packed up so we could head for home but put that off by about another 45 minutes or so because we didn't want to leave so we just sat around chatting. It was so nice!! The drive was so easy that I know I'll be back before Michelle knows it!!

We made really good time on the way home. 3-1/2 hours with a McDonalds stop, Gas stop and potty stop. As mom mentioned there was the guy wearing confederate soldier pants. I can't believe first of all that I called it correctly on what they were but it was pretty clear by the busload of them that we saw as we were pulling out. I'm not sure why but we found this to be hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing the rest of the way home!!

Enjoy the slideshow of pictures. To see things more upclose, click the link below to go to the actual picture.


Moneik said...

It looks like you all had an amazing time! Isn't it great to have a finished project after a day spent quilting? I really wish I lived closer to you guys or had quilting buddies who lived closer to me. I am always up for some sewing fun. I'm thinking I should start my own sewing retreat and invite my friends. Maybe after the wedding I'll have time to plan that! I know I'm addicted to the sure stitcher at the store, so save your pennies (or popcans in my instance) and it'll come soon.

Michelle said...

You know Jen, I would be MORE than happy to host our quilting retreats! Would it be easier for us to quilt here? I am only a tiny bit farther away for Jill, but closer for Moneik by about an hour.
I have lots of floor space for sleeping bags, a couch and a recliner in the basement, and two lazyboys, a couch and a loveseat on the main floor for sleeping. Something to think about!

Suzan said...

Jen, I love the fabric you chose for your quilt! I am a HUGE fan of anything Moda.