EnterTRAINment Junction

ej_9Greg and I were looking for something fun to do the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. He had the afternoon off, and we hated to waste it. In brainstorming, the fact that I needed to get my glasses adjusted came up. My eye doctor is up in Mason, so it’s a bit of a trek and not that fun. But then I remembered the signs I see each time I go for a place called EnterTRAINment Junction. Now that sounded fun!

Since it was our first time, I purchased the Do-It-All package, which included the Train Journey, A-Maze-N Funhouse, and the special Christmas events.

We started out with the Train Journey, the main attraction of which was an amazing model train setup. It was huge. There were three separate displays showing different time periods in train history.

ej_14The first period was the 1860s. The displays were filled with interesting details and there was a list of items to find in the displays to encourage you to really look at them closely.

ej_1I loved the color of this little house, and that bear on the rock in the river was one of the items to find. The trains are all G-scale (1/24th of actual size), so all the houses and features were nice and big.

ej_2The next time period was the 1940s and 50s. I loved the views down the city streets. The street cars that you see were all running, too.

ej_3The details were really very cool. That Woolworths is full of figures and merchandise!

ej_10Here’s my attempt at showing the scale. Seriously huge.

ej_6The final time period was the 1970s. The buildings all looked more modern, and I liked the sculptures they included in the cityscapes.

ej_13A large portion of the display was bluffs and tunnels. Red buttons, like the one you see here, were scattered throughout the display. When you pressed them, you’d hear the noises that you’d hear in that place and time.

ej_8The whole time we were there I was keeping an eye out for a Milwaukee Road train car. My grandfather worked for them, and in one of the last scenes, I finally found one.

ej_11Signs like this were on the floor in some areas to give visitors a bit of an idea of what went into this. It took over a year to build, and it’s continuously updated.

ej_5The Train Journey also included some history about the railway system in the United States. I can’t pass up a picture of old travel posters.

ej_12Separate from the timeline, there was a replica of Cincinnati’s Coney Island as it appeared in 1965. All the rides were moving, including those tram cars you can see in the sky.

ej_7This display also included photos and memorabilia from Coney Island’s history.

ej_4Next we made our way to the Christmas train displays, which were not as impressive. Greg said that they were what he feared the whole thing would be like. That area did include Neil Young’s traveling train display (yes, the singer Neil Young). I liked his use of driftwood for this desert scene.

The funhouse was next, which included a lot of things that I’m sure a kid would enjoy. I insisted we go through the Mirror Maze, and led the way for a while, but then I got freaked out, so Greg had to take over to get us out of there. That’s the way things go with us sometimes.

Finally, we took the North Pole path that ended up in a kitchen with Mrs. Claus, where there was the promise of cookies. However, there were only three cookies left and three kids in the room with us, so guess who didn’t get a cookie. We bailed before we actually got to Santa.

It ended up being a really fun and kind of wacky way to spend the afternoon. Greg and I were both super impressed by the Train Journey. It is just really well done, and I can definitely see coming back when we have guests in town.



Zippered Pouches For Sale!


Thank you to those who purchased zippered pouches! The unsold ones have been shipped off to my sister Jenny who is opening retail shop in Dalton, Wisconsin. The shop is called The Fancy Tail Collective, so if you’re ever in Dalton, please check it out. In the meantime, if you’d like me to make another zippered pouch similar to these, let me know. I don’t have all the fabrics anymore, but I’ll see what I can do.



Over the past several weeks, I found that I’ve had some time on my hands during the day. And my go-to activity when I have time on my hands is making zippered pouches. It’s what everyone does, right? Well, maybe it’s just me. But I did it five years ago, too. I use them for my makeup, for small crochet projects, as gifts, and more. They really do come in handy.

This time, however, I made so many—10 different ones—that I thought I’d try selling them. If you’re interested in any of these, leave me a message here, on Facebook, or e-mail me at c {dot} doyle {at} fuse {dot} net. All are made with 100% cotton fabric. And they are handmade, so they’re not flawless. Shipping is $3 or I’m happy to make other arrangements for local friends.

1. Flowers and Paperclips Pouch—SOLD

Orange and teal with white interior and two credit card pockets. Ruffled and banded on front only. Flat style; medium-weight interfacing. 8.5 inches wide, 5 inches tall.


2. Deer Pouch—SOLD

Gold and gray with gold interior. Flat style; medium-weight interfacing. 8.5 inches wide, 6 inches tall, 1.75 x 6.5-inch base.


3. Golden Pouch

Gold and red with multicolored interior. Open-mouth style; medium-weight interfacing. 9 inches wide, 5 inches tall, 3.5 x 6-inch base.

golden-pouch_sm golden-pouch-interior_sm

4. Navy and Orange Pouch—SOLD

Different fabric on front and back. Solid orange interior with credit card pocket. Open-mouth style; lightweight interfacing. 8.5 inches wide, 5.5 inches tall, 2.5 x 6-inch base.

navy-orange-pouch-a_sm navy-orange-pouch_sm navy-orange-pouch-interior_sm

5. Small Striped Pouch

Chartreuse, teal, and orange with teal interior. Open-mouth style; medium-weight interfacing. 8 inches wide, 5 inches tall, 3.5 x 5-inch base.

small-striped-pouch_sm small-striped-pouch-interior_sm

6. Large Orange Stripe Pouch

Chartreuse, teal, and orange with teal interior and credit card pocket. Open-mouth style; medium-weight interfacing. 11 inches wide, 7 inches tall, 4.5 x 7-inch base.


7. Octopus Pouch

Lime green and fuchsia with gray interior. Open-mouth style; medium-weight interfacing. 11 inches wide, 7 inches tall, 4.5 x 7-inch base.

octopus-pouch_sm octopus-pouch-interior_sm

8. Navy Floral Pouch

Navy and orange floral with navy and white bottom; orange interior with credit card pocket. Open-mouth style; lightweight interfacing. 11 inches wide, 7 inches tall, 4.5 x 7-inch base.


9. Foxy Pouch

Pink, gold, and yellow with multicolored interior. 5-inch wrist strap and interior credit card pocket. Open-mouth style; lightweight interfacing. 10 inches wide, 7 inches tall, 4.5 x 6-inch base.

foxy-pouch_sm foxy-pouch-interior_sm

10. Yellow Pleated Pouch—SOLD

Yellow, teal, red, and green with teal interior. 6-inch wrist strap and interior credit card pocket. Open-mouth style; lightweight interfacing. 10 inches wide, 7 inches tall, 4.5 x 6-inch base.


Medallion Charity Quilt Top

medallion_chairI spent the last weekend in October at the annual OHcraft Sew-In, held this year at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky. OHcraft is a group of sewing enthusiasts from Ohio, as well as Northern Kentucky and other surrounding states. The sew-in was organized by the awesome Kara Sanders and included swaps, a fabric destash table, and lots and lots of time to sew.

My main objective for the weekend was to work on a medallion quilt for Project Linus. I hadn’t done a medallion quilt before, and I decided a bright child’s quilt would be the place to start.

A medallion quilt is one with a central motif surrounded by borders that are either pieced or just one fabric. In the sketch that I drew, the central motif is actually several pinwheel blocks, followed by a round a four-patches, a round of flying geese, and finally, a plain fabric border.

medallion_sketchBefore the sew-in, I cut the pieces for the pinwheels, four-patches, and flying geese using bright colors from my stash and a zigzag fabric I was hoping to use up. Then I got down to sewing.

medallion_fourpatchesThe pinwheels came together easily using half-square triangles. Next, I made up the four-patches using that zigzag fabric. I grossly overestimated the number of four-patches I would need, so I had a lot of these left over. With the four-patches on, I squared up the quilt. Squaring up after each round is important to ensure the quilt maintains the intended shape. It’s easy to get those border strips out of whack.

medallion_geeseThe flying geese came next. I cut my goose fabric so that I could make a majority of the geese using the no-waste method. But because that makes four geese from one fabric, I created some single geese, too, to ensure I had the fabric variety I wanted.

As I was adding the geese, I realized that my design meant that all the geese seams really needed to match up with all the four-patch seams. That turned out to be a lot of seam matching.

Somehow, getting that far took me all afternoon and evening on Friday and most of the day on Saturday. Much, much longer than I had anticipated. Plus my geese points were butchered and the whole thing was looking pretty chaotic to me. So I put that project away for the rest of the weekend and picked it up this past weekend. My plan had been to just add a border of the zigzag fabric at this point, but that wasn’t working for me. So first I added a border of orange to try to calm things down.

medallion_orangeborderI would have liked to stop here, but the quilt was less than 40 inches wide at this point, and I wanted it to be bigger so a child could really wrap up in it. The zigzag border still wasn’t working for me, so I dug into my stash and found a fabric that to me looks like impressionistic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

medallion_border-fabricThat fabric is pretty chaotic, too, but I liked that it was darker and gave some weight to the final border. The quilt top is now about 48 x 60 inches.

medallion_topI had a ton of that border fabric, so I used it on the back of the quilt as well. That’s where I used up all those extra four-patches, too.

medallion_backNext up is the quilting. My plan is to use straight lines of quilting to help make the center and rounds stand out from each other. I’d love to get this one finished by the end of the year, but we’ll see how that plays out . . .