Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Row by Row

The last three years North Carolina quilt shops have participated in an event called Row By Row. During the summer months (between June 21 and the end of August), wherever you're traveling you stop at a participating quilt shop and get a free pattern that is 9"x36". Many quilt shops sell kits to go along with the pattern (from just the fabric to laser cuts pieces to accessories like buttons). Most shops have a fabric "license plate" with their store name and saying or name on it. Once you collect 8 patterns, you make a quilt using those patterns (it must be quilted, bound, and labeled) and return to one of the stores that you picked out a pattern from. If you're the first one to bring your quilt in to that store, you'll receive a fabric prize.

The last two years we've actually planned our vacation route around quilt shops so I could hit up certain stores for the pattern. I've completed some of the rows, but never enough of them to actually complete the quilt. So this year I said I was NOT going to participate. I need to tackle the projects I already have going. And then last month all these pictures of store's rows in NC started showing up on my Facebook feed. Let's just say that NC stores have a LOT of row patterns that I like. So yesterday I stopped and got two (actually four as both of these stores have 2 different patterns, but only one from each store will count in the row tally).  Thursday we'll stop at the Clayton store on the way back from Marilyn's funeral to get another one. I've plotted the store patterns on a NC map that I like, so we may take a short road trip in the next few days. I was planning to do 3-4 in a day and spread it out over the summer, but I think Bobby would rather do it all in one trip. He gets to see more back roads and small towns that way.

Maybe this year will be the year that I actually finish the quilt before the year is out. Maybe. Life has a way of interrupting hobbies.

Monday, June 20, 2016


This morning I opened Facebook and saw an unexpected announcement that Marilyn, owner of Bernina World of Sewing, a member of our local Quilts of Valor group, and someone I consider a friend, died Sunday. I know she's no longer suffering, and that these last few months have not been easy on her, her family, or her staff, but it's still hard to hear. Post after post mentioned her kindness, her ability to remember customer names. And all of that is SO true. But for me, I remember her pulling me aside during a non-busy quilt group meeting and asking me if she could ask some personal questions. She was tactful in everything she asked, but by some of her questions I could tell she had some experience with being a caregiver. She then opened up and talked about her first husband and his illness, and then her life with John and how she believed God truly brought him into her life. No matter how busy she was in the store, if I ever walked in, she always asked about Bobby. While I will enjoy my quilt groups and friends in the future, they won't be the same without her.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago my cousin who has MS, went to urgent care one night with extreme swelling in her feet. They told her she was 6 weeks pregnant and needed to see her doctor. So the following week she did and found out that while she was expecting, she was 34 weeks along with boy and one girl. Mom texted today that they're going to take the babies due to complications. I cannot imagine finding out that what you thought was impossible was happening and not having time to prepare for it. She owns a hair salon, so her whole life has just been thrown a curveball. I mean, really, other than an adoption/foster care scenario, who finds out that in 2-4 weeks your whole life is about to turn topsy-turvy with two children!

And this weekend we moved all 19 biddies outside to the little hen house. We're running the heat lamp to it at night. It's hot enough in the day time that they don't need it. They seem to be a lot happier, though they're a little bit timid about the whole situation.

So that's Monday in the Bryan household. Hopefully pictures of earlier events can come later this week.

Friday, June 17, 2016

fun but done

I'm not sure what year it started, but Hwy 301 in North Carolina started having an "endless yardsale" in June every year. The hope is that eventually it will spread to other states and be like others that are multi-state and very popular. We went to a few places last year, and when we saw the signs a few weeks ago thought we might try it again. Except this year we have so many places to be tomorrow that we will get up and and begin hustling and not stop until bedtime. So we went today. (It's a two day event.)

We didn't get an early start. I think it was about 9am when we arrived in Benson. (The sale starts at 7am.) By 10:15am I was starting to wonder how much longer I was going to last. And I know if I'm getting hot and sweating, Bobby is entering the danger zone. We stopped for lunch and took our time in the ac to cool off before hitting the road again. We finally stopped around 2:20 and began heading back towards home. It was fun, but we were also both more than a little glad to be done. I think the heat wore us both out.

I did have one unexpected find, but I'll wait until I get it cleaned up to photograph and post. Several places had advertised pedal cars and tractors and antique farm bells on Craigslist, and I was quite shocked and disappointed at their prices. Some of them were higher than antique stores/flea market prices!! So we didn't get any pedal cars for great-nieces or nephews. There was one row or two in Selma down a side street that I wouldn't have minded going down, but due to time and weather we didn't. But we certainly stopped at enough places!

So now this red-necked gal is off to clean some things and start getting ready for tomorrow's meeting a friend/family reunion and an engagement party in Washington, NC tomorrow. And somewhere in there is prep for Jr Church. It feels like a Saturday, even though it's not.

If you're in NC and free tomorrow and yard sales are your thing, check it out!