I took some time to go visit my family in Arkansas the past few days. I just have to get back "Home" to decompress and enjoy life outside the big city of Houston.
The best and quickest route is US 59 all the way to Carthage then jaunt over on US 79 to I-20, around Shreveport/Bossier and then up the country highways to south Arkansas. But, today I felt a little adventurous and decided to veer off the beaten path some since I had all day to get back. I drove south out of Greenwood, LA on State Hwy 169. This was the best decision I had made in a while. Winding, shady highway with beautiful homes, picket fences and interesting sites. When I got a few miles south of Greenwood I came to a fork in the road...decisions, decisions. I took the left and, I think, the one less traveled. Thanks Robert Frost for the inspiration. :) I am so glad I did because I went through Keachi, LA, founded in 1858. You can read more about it here.
For a town of less than 400 people, it has 11 sites on the historic register and a home that is the perfect example of Greek Revival architecture.
My only regret is that I did not stop to take pictures because it was raining. The historic buildings are in dis-repair and the Greek Revival home is one of the worst, including a grown up yard. The picture here is from 2009 and in the past 4 years the whole property has gone down a lot more. Although, it would make a perfect haunted house. I hope to go through there again on the way to or from Arkansas and take pictures of all the interesting sites.
After leaving Keatchi, I traveled on to Logansport, LA and Joaquin, TX making my way back to US 59. It took me an extra hour but it was well worth it. I would have kept traveling on a different path, but I had my eye on a fabric shop in Garrison called Love Bug Fabric and Quilting
and was determined to stop there. I stopped, alright....almost two hours I spent in there. The owner was very friendly and talkative. We talked about the quilt market, longarms, family and teaching.
She let me play with an Accuquilt
and experiment with how many layers of fabric can be cut at once. We tried 6 layers and it was a little too much. It was a good test. Fortunately, she let me take home all 54 2.5" squares that I cut out of a layer cake called Holiday in Kashmir.
Absolutely beautiful fabrics that could be used any time of the year.
I also left there with a quilt kit of purple and green fabrics that includes a Japanese panel insert. This is going to be a Christmas gift for a relative who loves the color purple. 1. Three Bullet Cans 2. Embroidered Napkins 3. Binding 4. Hemming Lace
Before my journey really got started, I stopped at a little flea market on the Arkansas/Louisiana line that has excellent prices. Below are some of my finds.
by Michelle Hand
I attempted my first quilt a little over a year ago. I attended a beginner's class at my local quilt store and once I learned about all the latest handy tools out there that makes it less of a daunting task, I was hooked. The ladies who conducted the class were awesome teachers and we have been friends ever since. Although I have only completed one other quilt since then, I still plug away at it, usually with a couple in the works at the same time. I am just SLOW! I stop and start. I stop to work on other sewing projects and other crafts. I will get them done, it just may be at the end of this year, who knows! :)
Anyway, back to my first quilt. I made a disappearing nine patch for my granddaughter. Yes, I have a grandaughter by marriage. I'll explain that in another post sometime. I actually finished her quilt in a month because I started in October and gave it to her for her birthday at the end of November of 2011. I really enjoyed the process and learning all the ins and outs of picking out the fabric, sewing and cutting it apart, sewing it together again, pressing seams, auditioning the blocks, sewing rows together and then quilting it.
When looking back, I can't believe I actually machine quilted it myself. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I quilted half of it without a walking foot....what was I thinking?? The walking foot is a must for quilting on your own machine. Believe me, it's worth the money and a lot less heartache. I used Moda's Amelia
Charm Squares (5" precuts of fabric) to make the disappearing nine patch block.
My granddaughter absolutely loved it ... primarily because her favorite color is Purple.
Here is a video by Missouri Star Quilt Co. demonstrating how to make the disappearing nine patch block.