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A few days ago I posted photos of my Patriotic Star quilt block and I have had several requests for the instructions on how to make this block. I have written out the instructions for both the Patriotic Star quilt block and the instructions on how to make the table runner.

You can view and save these instructions as a pdf file by clicking on the highlighted text Patriotic-Stars-Pattern

I have also put together a photo tutorial on how to construct this block. Note: These instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Fabrics

1 Fat Quarter or equivalent of the fabrics listed below will make 1 Patriotic Star block, plus a few more!

Blue Star fabric, Red Star fabric, Red and White striped fabric, OR solid red and solid white fabric to make your own striped fabric.
Background fabric – 1 Fat Quarter or equivalent

Refer to the PDF file (see above) for the cutting dimensions.

The piecing instructions for the Star Points are written (and illustrated below) so that you don’t have to use any special piecing rulers.

NOTE: For a great red / white wavy striped fabric, I recommend visiting the Quilted Dragon  website.  (www.quilteddragon.com) She is a quilting friend and has great fabric Click on the link to go directly to the fabric  Red & White Striped Fabric 

Tools

If you would prefer use special piecing rulers to make the elongated triangles that are used in the Patriotic Star Block, I recommend the following:

Peaky & Spike Templates by Marti Michelle
http://www.FromMarti.com

Tri-Recs Tool from EZ Quilting

These template sets should be available at your local quilt shop.


Star Center – Pieced Strips

Take the 1 inch x 2-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.

 

 

 


Take the 1 inch x 4-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.

 

 


Take the 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch piece of the Blue Star fabric and the two (sewn) striped pieces and place them EXACTLY as shown.

Stitch these pieces together like a 4-Patch and press as desired.

 

 


The completed Star Center block is shown. This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.

 

 

 


Star Center – Striped Fabric

If you are using Red and White striped fabric, place the pieces a shown in the photo at the far left. Stitch together like a 4-Patch to form the Star Center. Press as desired.  This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.

 


Star Points – Using Templates/Rulers

If you are using piecing templates/rulers, follow the directions to make the following 4-1/2 inch square Star Point blocks.

For EACH Patriotic Star Block you will need the following –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See upper left)

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right. (See upper right)

2 – Star Points with Red fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See bottom left and right)

If you are NOT using piecing templates/rulers, go to the next section.

 


Star Points – without rulers

On a padded surface, WRONG sides up, pin OPPOSITE corners of 2 – 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch Star Point fabric EXACTLY as shown in the photo.

Note: – I like to use a padded and gridded ironing pad or a folded terry towel on top of my ironing board. Yes, I know that my ironing mat is a little (??) grubby. I use it quite a lot with my piecing!

Start with the Red Star fabric to make the Star Points.

 


Take the “flaps” that were to the inside, and fold them out as shown at the right. Make sure that the fold that is being created is along a long straight line. The RIGHT side of the fabric is on the top.

Press to make a crease line along the fold line. You now have right and left leaning long triangle pieces.

Your Star Points should look EXACTLY like the photos at the left.

 


Remove the pins and re-position the (new) long triangles as shown at the right.

DO NOT TRIM YET!!

 

 


Take a light 4-1/2 inch fabric square and position ONE Star Point as show at the right. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.

 

 

 


Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.

 


Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!

The “open” seam make quilting MUCH easier!

 


Place the remaining Star Point on the 4-1/2 inch background square exactly as shown in the photo. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.

 

 

 


Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.

 

 


Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!

 

 


The Red Star fabric Star Point Unit is now completed! When finished, the Star Point Unit should measure 4-1/2 inches square, which includes seam allowances.

Make a total of 2 Red Star fabric Star Point Units for each block.

 

 


Then make –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right.

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right.

 

 


Putting the Patriotic Star Block Together

Place the Star Center, the 4-1/2 inch square Background Corner pieces and the Star Points EXACTLY as shown in the photo to form the Patriotic Star Block.

Stitch the block together and press as desired.

 

 


The completed Patriotic Star Block should measure 12-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Here are two blocks, the one at the left has the pieced stripes in the Star Center and the block on the right has the striped (printed) fabric in the Star Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I hope you enjoy making the Patriotic Star Quilt Block and use it in your projects.

Here is the link to the PDF file for the Patriotic Star Table Runner Patriotic-Stars-Pattern  which includes the instructions on how to piece the Star Points without templates or special rulers.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. If you are traveling, travel safe, if you are staying home, enjoy the day!

I was doing some traveling last month – I taught longarm quilting classes in way South Texas, and then went to visit my daughter Heather, and her family in Savannah, GA. I had a GREAT time in both places!

While I was traveling, of course I had to stop in a few fabric shops, where I picked up some great patriotic fabrics. I also did a little bit of Internet shopping for patriotic fabrics. Here is a little bit of what I got – click on any photo for a larger view.

With all this great fabric laying around,  of course, I had to stitch at least some of the fabric into something! So I designed a Patriotic Star pattern!

It is a 12 inch block, using three different fabrics to form a “sort of” American Flag design. To make the elongated Star Points I used the Tri-Rec’s piecing template/ruler and the center is a 4 Patch variation.

Then I made a few more of these blocks and put them together to make a table runner.

I took the photos later in the day and it looks like the background fabric is light blue, but it really is solid white, bleached muslin, that was pre-washed. I off set the stars a bit to give the pattern more “movement”.

Here is a close up of the stars in the table runner. Again, the background fabric looks light blue, but it really is solid white!

No, it is not quilted yet, but it will be soon! I will be quilting it with a new (quilting) template I have been working on. When I get it quilted and the template is ready, I’ll let you know.

If you have some time and want to do some quilting or piecing for a great organization, I recommend American Hero Quilts. This is an organization that makes and gives quilts to wounded service men and women. To visit the American Hero Quilts website Click Here 

Have a wonderful Independence Day – or 4th of July – holiday.

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Comforting Quilts

I have been busy lately with piecing and, of course, quilting! Here are some photos of my recent projects.

My customer Connie contacted me about quilting this quilt for her. She does volunteer work and, as part of a Volunteer Thank You Event, there was going to be a drawing for this quilt. This quilt was impeccably pieced and it was a joy to quilt. Since I didn’t know if the quilt was going to a male or female and I got a more “modern” feel for the piecing, I kept the quilting simple with wavy lines. Click on the photo for a larger view.

I love the texture of this quilt and the wavy lines remind me of  mountains and maybe ripples on water. I used Soft & Bright batting and Signature 100% cotton thread.

The Comfort of Psalms Quilt

My sister asked if I could make this quilt for her and of course, I said I would make it for her. She had purchased the pattern and fabric as a kit a while ago and was going to give it to a pastor at her church who was leaving.  The piecing pattern is from Block Party Quilt Studio  and it’s called The Comfort of Psalms pattern. (For information about this pattern Click Here)

This photo is the whole quilt hanging up on the clothesline. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Here is a close up of the quilting and the printed text panels.

And here is the back of the quilt. The light is coming through from the front of the quilt so you can see where the piecing is!

I am putting this quilt in the mail to my sister today. I can’t wait for her to see it in person!

Shadow Quilts

I have been intrigued with Shadow Quilts for a while – I really like the almost 3-D look you can get with simple piecing. I have had some scraps that were cut for a simple quilt a LOOOONG time ago and after looking online and doing some thinking, I asked myself – why couldn’t I use the scraps to make a Shadow Quilt? And I did! It was so easy and it looks so good!

Is this one quilted yet? Noooo! But it will be – someday! Actually, I am thinking of donating it to Project Linus Quilts when it is quilted.

These quilts are addictive! I was looking through my fabric stash and found a cute dinosaur print and decided to make another Shadow Quilt! Because I didn’t put a border around the blocks, and the blocks are a single piece of fabric, this quilt was even easier and faster to make then the other quilt!

This quilt is finished and quilted with the wavy lines (like in the first quilt). This quilt has been given to a 2 year old little boy who LOVES it!

I have some “girly” fabric in my stash and I think I may make another Shadow Quilt and donate that one too!

 

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Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!

b-val-01aI took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.

The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.

Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly.  I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.


Square Mug Rugs

I b-val-01drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker  (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.


b-val-02Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want.  After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy  lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!


b-val-03Divide these spaces in half both horizontally and vertically and mark the lines. If desired, use another color of marker. On the intersections of these lines, draw the heart shape as shown.

To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.


b-val-04Now you are ready for quilting the feathered heart!

Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart.  Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.

 


b-val-05At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart.  See the photo at the left.  Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!

 

 


b-val-07Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.

See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!

I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated  cotton thread for the quilting.


b-val-09   b-val-09a

 

 

 

 

For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!


Circle Mug Rugs

val-13Refer to the pdf file (above) and cut out the 4-1/2 and 3-1/2 diameter circles from piecing template plastic. Note: If you have circle templates you may be able to find the sizes needed.

 

 

Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.

b-val-15aSquiggle stitch close to the outer line. This will keep the layers together when you finish the edges.

Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.

 


Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker –  before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.

b-val-01aI finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.

On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.

I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.


val-23  b-val-24When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.

In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did  Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???

I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.

If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Earlier today I posted to this blog, step by step photo instructions on how to make an easy zippered pouch. Somehow, when I was trying to upload the WordPress app to my new smart phone, I  DELETED that post!! Don’t ask me how I did that, I have absolutely NO idea how that happened.

Fortunately, I was able to selvage the original post and here it is again. I apologize for this and this is where I can say I both Love and Hate technology!!!


Easy Zippered Pouch

A belated Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope that 2017 is wonderful for you and your family!

I have been SO busy the last few months that I have not had a chance to post to any blog. Now that things have slowed down slightly, I can finally “get to posting!”

For Christmas, I made the Grandkids these simple, easy zippered pouches. A few years ago I began giving the Grandkids McDonald’s gift certificates as a Christmas gift. The kids love them – I’m not too sure about the parents loving them, but I am the Grandma and Grandma’s do things like this! Sometimes just to annoy their children. This is payback time! – and I like to put the gift certificates in things that I have made for them. (See my post about last year when I made all 10 Grandkids knitted socks. To see that post Click Here)

When I made the zippered pouches, I took photos of the process and I am going to show you, step by step, how I made them. Believe it or not, these zippered pouches were NOT quilted! If you wanted to quilt the fabric you can, but the zipper is bound and applied a different way. I have a unique way of doing this and I may post those instructions later on.

Below are the instructions for the Easy Zippered Pouches. Note: The instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Easy Zippered Pouch

b-zip-23

Supplies – Outside the pouch fabric, pouch lining – a fat quarter of each will make several pouches. I love to look through my stash and use larger scrap fabrics. Zipper several inches LONGER than the finished pouch, standard sewing supplies.

Finished size – you determine the size of the finished pouch. The pouch in the photos above finish about 6 inches square.


b-zip-01Cut your fabric twice as long as it is wide plus seam allowance. If you want a pouch about 6 inches square, cut your fabrics (the outer pouch fabric and the lining fabric) 6 x 12 inches, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance on all four sides. Your final fabric measurement should be about 7 x 13 inches

This is not a hard and firm number and it can be adjusted. If you wanted a bigger pouch, say 7 inches square-ish, your fabrics should be about 8 x 15 inches.

 


b-zip-02Place your zipper face up. Center and place the narrow edge of your outer pouch fabric face DOWN on top of the zipper. Make sure both ends of the zipper EXTEND well past the cut edges of the fabric. Pin in place.

 


b-zip-03Turn the zipper/pouch fabric over. Place, then pin the lining fabric, face DOWN on top of the zipper, aligned with the pouch fabric. Move the pins from the pouch fabric side to the lining side and pin all three layers together. The fabrics at this point are right sides together.


b-zip-04Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the teeth of the zipper. If desired, stitch another line close to the first line. I apologize, I used white thread for the stitching. You can barely see it in the photo!

 


b-zip-05Turn the fabrics to the right side to expose the zipper. If desired, press fabrics in place.

 

 


b-zip-06Take the bottom edge of the pouch fabric and bring it to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. When you do this, the fabric will be right sides together. Line up the edges of the fabric and pin in place along the zipper tape.

 


b-zip-07Turn this over and bring the bottom edge of the lining fabric to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. Move the pins to this side and pin the three layers in place. As you can see in the photo, the bottoms of the pouch are “hanging free” and are NOT stitched together. At this time, all the stitching is being done at the top, zipper edge of the pouch.

 


b-zip-08Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. If desired, stitch another line of stitching close to the first line. Notice the gentle fold in the fabrics at the bottom.

 

 


b-zip-09Turn the fabrics right side out so that the zipper teeth are exposed. Position the zipper so there is about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of fabric ABOVE the zipper. If desired, press this fold in place. Don’t press the bottom yet.

 


b-zip-10If you open the zipper, you will see how nice the inside and the outside of the pouch looks. The edges of the zipper tape is encased in the fabric.

 

 


b-zip-11If desired, make one or two lines of top stitching along the zipper edges. Click on the photo to enlarge it to see the stitching lines. I used pink thread on the sample and you can barely see the stitching!

 


b-zip-12Cut a piece of the pouch fabric about 1-1/2 inches x 6 inches. Again, this is not a hard and fast measurement. Instead of fabric you could use ribbon or something similar. If using fabric, press in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together. Then press the cut edges to the inside about 1/4 inch or so. Fold and press again so all the raw edges are to the inside. Stitch close to the folded edges. This piece should finish about 1/2 x 6 inches or so.


b-zip-13Pin this tab in position at either the right or left edge of the pouch and pin in place. Pin only through the top two layers of fabric. See way below for the right edge placement of the tab.

 

 


b-zip-14Open the zipper about half way and turn the pouch inside out. The lining fabric will now be on the outside. Match the raw edges of the pouch and pin in place. Notice how the zipper edges at the left are positioned. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open!!!

 


b-zip-15Stitch the raw edges of the pouch together with a 1/2 inch seam. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the seam allowance close to the first line of stitching. You can trim the edges of the zipper at this time, but I like to wait until a little bit later.

 


b-zip-16Let’s deal with the bottom of the pouch! I like to press the fold in the bottom of the pouch. Then I take this fold line and line it up with the side seams we just stitched. The pins in the photo show where the fold line and the seam lines come together. Yes, the pouch will be a little “poofy” because of this.

 


b-zip-17Measure in from the point about 3/4 of an inch and draw a line across the “point” of the bottom.

I used the blue, Mark B Gone, water soluble marker to make this line. Do the same thing on the other side.

 

 

 


b-zip-18On both points, stitch along this line. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the point. You can trim the points away, but on something this small, I just leave it as is.

 


b-zip-19Here is another view of the pouch. The zipper has been trimmed and the points at the bottom have been stitched.

 

 

 


b-zip-20Turn the pouch inside out and – taa daa – you have a completed zippered pouch! Give it a light press and your pouch is done!

 

 


b-zip-21What if … You wanted the tab on the other side? No problem! Go through all the steps above until you get to the part where you are pinning the tab in place. Pin the tab to the RIGHT edge of the pouch and stitch it in place. Continue stitching your pouch following the instructions above and turn the completed pouch right side out.

 


b-zip-23Here is a photo of both of these pouches, one tab is on the right and the other tab is on the left.

 

 


I know that this looks like a lot of steps, but once you get started it takes about 10 minutes (maybe less) to make a pouch like this. It is also fairly easy to “assembly line” the construction if you are making several at one time.

If you make any of these pouches, please send photos. I love seeing what others can do with this basic design.

 

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Quilted Turkey

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(click on the photo above for a larger view. You have got to see the details!)

I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Whether you are spending this day cooking in the kitchen or visiting with family and friends, let us all give thanks for what is truly important in our lives including family, friends and faith.

To thank you for your support of Longarm University this past year, I have put a FREE Online Class on the Longarm Classroom website. This class will show you how to make the cutest pillow top from a child’s hand and foot print. reinweb1(Click on the photo at left for a larger view.) It also makes a great gift for any child or grandchild! Also included in this FREE Online Class are instructions on how to machine applique using your quilting machine.

For complete details on this FREE Online Class, including photos, Click Here

For a list of other FREE Online Classes Click Here

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and travel safe!

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Mt Rainier Holiday

Yesterday, my daughter Katie, her two children and I went for a ride to Sunrise at Mt Rainier, WA. It was a free National Parks weekend and we made a day of it!

Mt. Rainier was FABULOUS and breathtaking! We were at 6,700 feet above sea level and the breathing got a little labored with exertion, but I survived! While there, I took some photos (of course) –

Click on any photo for a larger view

B-MR-1     B-MR-2     B-MR-3

We also took a “little” hike – about a mile out and a mile back – but the trail was somewhat un-even and there many rocks and branches on the trail and there was a fair amount of up and down (at 6,700 feet above sea level!). I had to be careful where I put my feet. I didn’t want to fall.

The first photo below shows my 10 year old Grandson Nathan. Make sure to notice his backpack.

Along the trail we took a rest and had a snack. If you were in the sun it was almost HOT but when the wind was blowing it was cold. In the second photo, Nathan and I are resting. I wore my sun visor and my scalp got sun burned!

B-MR-5    B-MR-4

After out little rest break, Nathan didn’t want to carry the back pack anymore so his Mom carried it for him, along with his 30 + pound sleeping sister! Katie is a “pack horse Mama!!” Notice how the back pack is being carried. I did offer to carry the backpack.

B-MR-6

Because the park was so crowded, we had to park about a half mile from the Visitor Center along the side of the road on a very narrow turn out. It’s a good thing Katie not only know how to be a pack horse Mama, but she knows how to park a car almost anyplace!

This is a day that we all will remember for a LONG time!

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