We Took a Trip

Last week we travelled to Huntsville, Alabama, for an FTC robotics off-season event. While we were there, we were able to do several touristy things. The first evening we walked around downtown looking for artwork. It got dark much quicker than it does at home! 

The next morning we joined several other robotics teams for a visit to the U. S. Space and Rocket Center. This is home to space camp and it was fun to see little kids running around in their space jumpsuits. The docents were very knowledgeable and the boys (and my husband) got to talk to a man who helped create the lunar rover! 

In the afternoon, we dropped the team off at the high school for the event and my daughter and I went to Southern Charm Quilting. It looked really tiny from the outside, but it was huge and amazing inside! They had Handiquilter longarms, Bernina and Bernette, Janome, and Brother machines of every type. There was loads of everything--patterns, fabrics, notions and thread, and even vinyl. I've never seen so much Alison Glass fabric in one location before. 

I could have done a lot more damage to my budget, but I restrained myself. I bought some Tula Pink fabrics and a spool of Glide that I was running low on. Oh, and maybe you remember when I went on the Indianapolis-area shop hop earlier in the year and couldn't believe that noone stocked Swiss dot fabrics? Well, Southern Charm Quilting had them all! If you're ever in the area, it's a fantastic shop and well worth the visit.

We also stopped by an antique hardware store where we grabbed a few small souvenirs and quickly walked through a three-story antiques store--that one was primarily expensive furniture, not the usual knick-knack type things we were used to and more interested in. 

Saturday we dropped the team off again and went to a few stores and then visited the art museum. It was a nice little museum. About half of the galleries were closed in preparation for a Picasso exhibit, so we saw mostly local artworks. They had a very impressive collection of Italian sterling silver animal/bird sculptures. Those were my favorites.

After that, we headed back to the school to collect people for lunch. We all ordered takeout Jamaican jerk chicken meals from a restaurant in a strip mall by a Wal-Mart. They took much longer than expected and the restaurant itself was a little sketchy looking, but the food was delicious. 

We watched the robot runs in the afternoon and our team took first place in robots and second in obstacle course. That was really awesome! It was interesting to see how teams from outside our usual region ran their teams, designed their robots, and so forth. 

After the tournament, my family and one other toured the botanical gardens. It was super mega hot and humid, but still a nice experience. They had an origami sculpture exhibit on display outside amongst the landscaping. They also had a very large section of daylily beds and a small amount of butterflies in an exhibit.

Saturday night my family attempted to go to the Trash Pandas store (local minor league baseball team). The lights shut off literally as we parked our vehicle (according to Google they were still open for another hour--nope). However, my daughter was super interested in another store in the strip mall--Poke Collect. So we went in there. I've never seen an actual Pokemon store before! They had cards, stuffed animals, Funko Pop, collectibles, and loads of gaming tables set up. The kids picked out some Pokemon cards, including some Japanese editions, so at least the drive out there wasn't wasted.

One other notable thing--on the way down we noticed a place with loads and loads of old Fieros parked outside. My son looked it up--it's called The Fiero Factory, or TFF on their sign. We got a kick out of that one. Brought me right back to college. LOL. I attempted photos from the moving vehicle, but they didn't turn out.

Sunday we drove home. We made a stop at the American Girl store in Nashville. I haven't been in one since 2017. Things have really changed. I saw that many of the actual stores have shut down since then. I'm thinking maybe they were victims of COVID. I looked up used dolls on eBay when we got home and saw that most were in the $20 range instead of $100 when I last looked multiple years ago. I was a bit disappointed that very few of the historical items are still available at the store. Those items are still going for high prices on eBay. I was super disappointed that they no longer have souvenir shirts with the location on them. That was always my thing to purchase at the stores.

We were originally going to stop at the Parthenon in Nashville, but decided it was just too blooming awful outside. My son asked to stop at the Lane Motor Museum, so we did that instead. I was pleased to see that they had brochures with discounted admission on them just to the side of the payment window. Score! While my daughter and I kind of enjoyed it--there were a lot of quirky cars in there--my son and husband were in heaven. It took them quite some time to go through everything. I guess it was for the best because we spent long enough in there that we avoided all the dangerous weather all the way home.

Back to my sewing life, in case you missed it, I finished the Women's Voices quilt. Scroll down to my previous post to see it. Women's Voices was my June OMG. The finish party link up for June is still open for a few more days. I'm thinking about my options for my July goal. That link up will open on Saturday.

I haven't done much sewing in the last few weeks. I made two blocks for the Betty quilt from the Just Two Charm Pack Quilts book. They're on my design wall behind the longarm, so not the best photos.

The Meadow Mist Malted Mystery starts next week on July 6. I am sponsoring a quilting prize again. I will be taking advantage of the sneak peek/un-mystery.

With everything else that's been distracting me, I haven't yet shared my rainbow quilt. This is the second of two I made during the Sunshowers quilt along several years ago.  The color on these photos isn't very true to life. Oh well.

I also made a baby quilt. They match other than the thread color and quilting designs. I used the Chip design and mint green thread (same as green in rainbow) on the larger and Rain Lines and purple thread on the baby quilt. I think I prefer the baby quilt quilting, but if you like texture, the large throw has texture in spades.

I haven't shared customer quilts for a couple of weeks. Here's what I have done for others recently.

First is Terry's dots quilt. She requested Circle Drama for the quilting.

On Amber's scrappy heart quilt, I picked a very large scale Opal. I saw the fully finished quilt and it looks great! She brought me a smaller version that I'll be quilting the same way this week.

Legene wanted A Fishy Tail for her baby quilt. This one is going to her soon-to-be-born grandbaby! So fun! This one has Tar Heel blue thread, which is very similar to the background of the inner border.

Charlene selected Midnight Sparkle for her tree quilt and requested dark green thread.

Marilyn sent me this one. She is going to make a quilted jacket from this, which I am anxious to see as a finished product. We decided on Opal for the quilting.

Out in the garden, the coneflowers are starting to bloom, as is the bee balm. I was able to harvest a few beans and peas Monday evening. I planted purple varieties of both this year to make it easier to see them. The peas aren't quite right though, since some are green and some are purple. The green ones are a lot fatter/puffier than the purple. Weird.

We had the most surprising thing happen a while back. Our injured rooster Henry started crowing again! He has the tiniest little voice now. Please enjoy this three second video. 😀


  1. What a perfect backing for the Sunshowers quilt! I don't think I've ever seen so much Alison Glass fabric together, either; I would have been hard pressed to be so restrained in my purchases!

  2. Gosh - your trip sounds amazing!!!! I love seeing what other cities look like!!!
    Robotics is so awesome!!! they can do some amazing things -
    Love your rainbows - that is too cute!