Driving across Arkansas

11 03 2012

I stayed overnight in Marshall, TX at the Quality Inn on Hwy 59, not far off I-20. It was average — the room was quite big, the shower was good, but don’t look too closely at the edges… And the free WiFi was flaky at best. I had to continually disconnect and reconnect to maintain connection. I did this at least 20 times during the evening and about 6 times in the morning before I gave up in frustration and packed up the computer. The Quality Inn had free breakfast too, which would be fine if you like highly processed and sugary foods! Waffles, pancakes, sweet muffins, pre-packaged cereals, etc. etc. They did have warmish hard-boiled eggs, so I had one, but it was pretty tasteless.

I was on the road by 8:00 am, heading north on Hwy 59 towards Texarkana, where I got on I-30 East before crossing the border into Arkansas. After Little Rock, I took I-440 to I-40, which took me all the way to Memphis. Finding The Peabody (where the conference is being held) was easy, and I got there just on 2:00 pm. Thus my two days of driving from New Braunfels to Memphis took me a total of 13 hours, some 2+ hours more than Bing Maps said it would. I need to make sure I add 2+ hours to the estimated time to get back to Dallas!

The drive today was good — clear blue skies, dry roads, traffic all travelling at a similar speed.

Some observations:

  • Arkansas as seen from I-30 in early spring is very pretty.
  • Some churches have funny names — I saw one called ‘Cass County Cowboy Church’ (I wonder if they let anyone else join?) and another called ‘Bible Deliverance Church’.
  • I’m impressed with my Chevrolet Impala — it’s a full-size car from Enterprise and it responds really well (both acceleration and braking).
  • There was PLENTY of notice about roadworks on I-40 — the first notice was some 40 miles away, giving you enough time to make another route decision, then there were notices of possible delays and stopping as you got closer and closer to the area. Very well done.
  • I can’t believe the flyovers etc. in the middle of nowhere that take the highway/interstate in all sorts of directions. it looks hard from the map, but is quite easy on the ground. Signposting everywhere on the highways and interstates is EXCELLENT.

The Peabody’s service on arrival was superb. The room is lovely, though the bathroom is tiny. That said, there’s an area outside the bathroom where you can put your toiletries bag etc. Although there’s only one desk (and two of us with computers), the small table in the room is adequate as the other desk. And there are ducks everywhere — on the pillows, on the bath soaps, in the elevator marbled floors…

Maybe this will shut Sue up!

11 03 2012

My good friend Sue, who lives in San Diego, California, LOVES pink. She’s the classic ‘pink princess’ — her phone is pink, her laptop is pink, she buys pretty much anything I make that’s in pink fabrics.

When I made a pink quilt for my Mum for her 80th birthday, Sue was just a little envious. And she was like one of those “I want! I want!” kids who does a tanty if they don’t get their own way 😉

So, I decided to shut her up and make a pink quilt for her. I actually made the quilt in December 2011, and finished it on 1 January 2012, but I didn’t want to post the pictures etc. until she received it. I’ll be giving it to her when I see her at a conference in Memphis, in March 2012. And this blog post will be ‘live’ about a week later. I gave the quilt to her today — and she burst into tears with emotion… I made her cry 😉

Some information about Sue’s quilt:

  • I used up almost my entire stash of pink fabrics! 😉
  • I stitched some 130,000 quilting stitches (don’t worry — the machine counts them for me).
  • All quilting is free motion and done on my HQ Sweet Sixteen — the only marking I did was for the cat outlines (Sue’s a cat person).
  • Each large block contains a cat, echo quilted in a variegated pink rayon thread (Guterman Sulky?).
  • The rest of the quilting is one continuous line of hearts and loops, done using a soft pink Robison Anton rayon thread.
  • The bobbin thread is a soft pink Deco-Bob thread (I used 2.5 bobbins for the quilting).
  • The border quilting is free motion feathers (a la Diane Gaudynski), with a wavy stem — done in a darker pink rayon thread (Floriani), and echo quilted with a deep watermelon coloured thread (Mettler Metrosene).
  • The pattern is a variation on ‘Surround’ from Four Paws Quilting.

Sample photos (click on a small photo to see it full size):