Friday, November 13, 2015

Roadtrips for the Row by Row Experience!

My, oh my, how time flies. I had intended to write about my roadtrips to California and back with my grandkids in 2013 and 2014, had actually started writing, saved it as a draft, and then got distracted. I found the draft in my folder and decided to go ahead, even though it's been over a year since our trips. Here's a recap post with some of the highlights. Here goes...

Jordyn was a wonderful traveling companion on our 2013 trip from Kansas to California!
Some of the fabrics Jordyn and I collected on our 2013 roadtrip

More of the fabrics Jordyn and I collected on our 2013 roadtrip.

In June 2013, the first year I participated in the Row by Row Experience, I drove my granddaughter, Jordyn (then 9) to California for her annual visit with her Nana & Papa. We drove out US-40, taking many detours to visit quilt shops where she collected fat quarters with something she had seen along the way. Traveling through the southwest and along parts of old Route 66, she found some great fabrics and in the fall during weekend visits to my house, she made her Road to California quilt. These two pix are of Jordyn showing off the front and back of her completed quilt.

When the 2014 Row by Row Experience started, several friends and I started taking day-trips to pick up free patterns and kits for the rows we liked best at shops within a day's drive of our home in northeast Kansas. As summer progressed, I already had plans to return to California to deliver my mom's china to my great nieces, and visit family and friends. Since my grandkids, Joe (14) and Jordyn (10) wouldn't be flying out for their typical annual trip to see family in California, my daughter and I decided they would go with me! Jordyn was already making her third quilt, so was anxious to stop at some shops along the way to buy fat quarters to make yet another one. Since we were all together, I told Joe he could also get a fat quarter at each shop, but only if he agreed to make at least one quilt top from the fabrics he selected. He agreed and, by the time we got home, each grandkid had more than enough fat quarters to make their own Turning Twenty or similar pattern on weekend visits to my place.
Day 1, taking off for California with two grandkids on a 2-week roadtrip.

At nearly every shop we took a picture out front before we left (we only forgot a couple). At a few shops, someone volunteered to take the picture for us so all three of us could be in the shot. The kids tired of being in all those silly pix, so soon it was just me with one of them manning the camera. In addition to quilt shops, we also go to visit family in Wyoming and California, plus did a great deal of sight seeing, especially in the southwest on our way home by way of the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, Three Rivers Petroglyphs National Site, Meteor Crater, among other sites. There was a fair amount of silliness along the way and, amazingly, no arguments whatsoever about who would ride shotgun. Joe preferred the front seat near the charger for his phone, while Jordyn made herself a nest in the back with her books, puzzles, and easy access to the cooler to keep us all supplied with snacks and drinks.

After two weeks on the road and 4,640 miles on my car, we returned home with over 20 new row patterns from five states and plenty of fun quilty license plates to share! The kids had each collected over 20 fat quarters and, true to his word (with a little arguing), Joe completed his Turning Twenty quilt top. Jordyn opted to make a Christmas quilt first, which she is quilting herself on my HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen, and is still in the process of making the blocks of her quilt with fabric from our trip. Once those two quilts are done, she already has the next pattern picked out.

On both trips we had so much fun! The kids were great, we saw so many wonderful sites, and enjoyed visiting with family and friends along the way. There was no roadtrip this summer, but in coming years I'm sure we will load up and head somewhere again.

More snippets from the sewing room soon,

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