Monday, November 14, 2016

Quilting on the Road

My husband and I are in the beginning of our cold weather escape to Texas. We have been on the road for a couple weeks and have reached our winter destination in the Houston area. This is our third year of being Winter Texans and besides missing snowy weather our biggest draw is the opportunity to live near our son's family and getting to be a part of their family and getting lots of Grandparent time over the holidays. Because we have enjoyed this RV experience we have moved up to a larger 5th wheel camper.

This move up to more space has allowed me to take more than just hand quilting projects along. I found a small used Bernina 220 on eBay and promptly named her "Sally" after a girl I met camping last year who brings her embroidery sewing machine, serger, and Singer featherweight in her RV. Sewing Machine Sally, as I affectionately think of her, and her husband are full time RVers. They sold their home and live in their RV, they are work campers for KOA and spend their summers working in campgrounds and winters escaping the cold much like us. Sally's RV is called a toy hauler and the back is a small garage that carries motorcycles or golf carts, when they get to a destination the vehicle is moved out and the toy hauler garage becomes Sally's sewing room. My set up is not nearly so grand but my little "Sally" and I are getting accustomed to the space and getting some projects worked on.

I sew at the dinette table and brought a small trunk that holds my projects and doubles as my ironing area and a coffee table/ foot stool.

Quilting in an RV is a bit like going on retreat, you hopefully pack more than you can possibly have time to work on and hope you organized your projects and remembered to take everything.

So, what have I been working on since we have been on the road? Well the Mariner's Compass quilt has a new border.

The scrappy octagon border is machine appliquéd and next will be a final applique border.

I have decided to tackle the large postage stamp blocks again on the Rowdy Flat Library quilt. I tried one earlier this summer and all my carefull peicing and measuring resulted in a block that measured an inch and a half two large. Ever since I have put off these blocks (there are 4 in the quilt) and seriously thought about appliqueing the squares onto a background block or hand piecing it, but I am going to give it another try by machine.

All of the pieces are laid out on a scrap of batting to stay somewhat organized in my smaller quilt space and I am just going to go for it, no adjusting my needle position like I did on the first try in an attempt to get a perfect 1/4 inch seam.

And of coarse there is still time for hand applique. Here are the latest Celebrating Mary Brown blocks.

In our travels we camped at an alpaca ranch and had perfect timing to see two new baby alpacas. Brown boy was 24 hours old and already running through his little pasture.

And Kismet's new baby was born a few minutes before our arrival, we witnessed the baby's first steps out of the birthing barn.

The herd of about 15 alpacas were so gentle and unafraid of strangers even with new young ones nearby. They were eager to greet campers and be petted, the camp hosts were so proud to show off their little herd.

We celebrated our stay with 4 skeins of Kismet's latest trimming spun into the softest yarn.

We have also noticed tiny houses popping up among the campers at some of the places we have stayed.

There have been many new quilt shop visits along our way but mostly we are settled in one place now for a couple weeks . After Thanksgiving we will be making a move to the beach on Galveston island.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy stitching from the road,




  1. Just came across your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. We also have a 5th wheel and I always bring along sewing. We opted not to have a fireplace under the TV so I could have a cabinet for my sewing machine, projects, travel iron & ironing board, etc. We are not retired yet but in a few years hope to winter down South. Enjoy your time with your family!

  2. You've got a nice set-up for sewing on the go. I only sewed in our RV once before - we traveled five hours south so hubby could attend a conference - I quilted while he was in meetings. Afterwards, we went into vacation mode!

  3. Hurrah for more space to sew! The snowball border looks great - interesting that you used machine appliqué. Your appliqué is marvellous as always :0) Good luck with the postage stamp block!!

  4. You're off on a exciting adventure so far, new digs, grandkids, baby alpacas, and more room to stitch. Your Mariner's compass is gorgeous. Are you designing this yourself? Hope the postage stamp blocks cooperate this time and you fabric choices for the applique are fantastic. Love the fabrics cut for the flowers.

  5. A great read today. I loved all the pictures. And good luck on rowdy flat.

  6. Looks like the perfect plan for escaping winter. Love your home away from home.

  7. I would find it hard to pack up projects for the whole winter season. I know I would want to take way more pieces and parts that I could use or find room for. But looks like it is working for you. And good that you get to be near family. My in-laws wintered in Texas a couple times when we lived there. Florida is warmer!

  8. I love your Mariner's compass! We are also snowbirds, from Wisconsin. You have a wonderful set up for your quilting. I also sit at our dinning table to sew. Where on Galveston Island will you stay?

  9. How fun to bring your cute little sewing machine with you! Love your projects.
    The alpacas are so adorable. We had several living on the hotel grounds in Peru.

  10. Just found you by way of Kyle at Timeless Reflections - envy you in warmer climates without snow - here in Wisconsin we are knee deep in the stuff. Have fun with your new 5th wheel - we love ours too and hope to take a snow break next year. It will be different than 6 summers in Alaska. Your applique is wonderful and love your fabrics!
    Happy stitching in the warm sunshine!!