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Friday, September 25, 2009

Some questions answered

Several of you have had some questions about Gwen's retreat/s. She moved them from Beaver Island to White Birch Lodge in Elk Rapids, MI (about 18 miles south of Charlevoix) about 7 years ago. The ferry takes too long, and the flights had gotten too expensive for the participants, so the move was made. It's a wonderful family owned for over 50 years lodge that is so accommodating to our needs!

Gwen does have a new book that will be coming out in the Spring, so watch for it. It is Liberated Quiltmaking II - what a surprise, eh? Next year's workshops will have that theme, too, so it should be exciting to see what she does. You can sign up for the workshops at her website as soon as they are posted. I'm already signed up and paid for next year!

This year's theme was Mixing it Up: Quilts that combine applique and piecing. As usual, she brought a lot of quilts to show us. I get more inspiration and plans for quilts just from seeing what she brings. This year's piece was inspired by what I saw, as well as last year's quilt I made for my son.

So, I think that answers the questions for you. Hope to see YOUR pictures of YOUR retreat with Gwen next year! There's even still room at the last minute for the Oct 7 retreat this year. Maybe THIS YEAR, eh?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another great retreat!

I got back home from Gwen Marston's "Beaver Island Quilt Retreat" (now held in Elk Rapids, MI) Sunday night. It was, as usual, just fabulous. Let me tell you now, that Gwen has put the R-E-T-R-E-A-T back into quilt retreat. I usually go in a few days early so I can knock around the area, then the retreat starts Tuesday night, and goes until Sunday. During that time, we quilt, we laugh, we shop, we swim, we eat, we talk a lot....any time and as much as we want. Each year there is a theme, and you can do something with that theme...or not. This year's theme was pieced and applique quilts.

On Sunday, I waited for my friend Wendy to arrive from California. Then we went grocery shopping, swimsuit shopping and unpacked. Monday we went to Charlevoix, and Petoskey. Of course, we had to hit the cute little Hearts to Holly quilt shop in Charlevoix. On Tuesday, we went back to Charlevoix, but this time, we followed the coast north and drove through the Tunnel of Trees (after going to the quilt shop again), and then found Kim Claire at her Flower Lady and Woolery farm. She had the most delightful sheep, llamas and angora rabbits. Of course, I had to come home with some of THAT fiber, doncha know?

The lower part of this unit is our "apartment" for the week. The window on the left is my bedroom, the one on the right near the door is the living room/dining area. Behind those two rooms are 2 more bedrooms and a bath and a half. We had most of our lunches and some of our snacks on this picnic table in the sun!

This the view out our window facing Elk Lake.

Elk Lake is spring fed and absolutely crystal clear! Wendy swam most every day, while I dipped my toes in the water or I was a "lifeguard" for when there was a potential for sharks. LOL!

Lifeguard duty was rough!

Here I am on Monday, dipping my toes into Lake Huron. The bridge behind me is to Mackinaw Island.

Here's Wendy at the Cherry Hut in Beulah where we just HAD to go to have the best ever cherry pie. Did you know that this area is the Cherry Capital of the World?

Wendy with her beautiful "new" featherweight from her sister Sue.

Applique and tea on the veranda, anyone?

Wendy with her Mail Order Stars and beginning serpentine vine, Gwen and me with my Oriental Anvils and serpentine vine and bubbles on our last night.

Look at all those bubbles! I had taken the blocks and then I figured out what I wanted to do with them after seeing some of Gwen's settings with pieced blocks and applique borders.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the things that were accomplished this past week. There's something for everyone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Time flies!

Where has the time gone, AGAIN! It seems that I turn around and an entire week or an entire month (as in the case) has gone by! Have I been busy and forgotten about the blog? Yes, and no, not really!

I've cleaned out the green bean bed and finished up all that that entails: another 18 pints canned and stored, and mulched down the bed. Hubby took his annual trip to Colorado in the San Juan mountains, so I had an entire week of "alone" time! I sewed a lot, and played with the puppy a lot. I also did a lot of the yard work that he usually does, but mostly just had some quiet time.

I know I promised pictures from Karen Stone's quilt show at our guild, but I am at another computer entirely, so they aren't available. Instead, I'll share today's pictures of Hubby, Mayo and me in the fall garden. The wildflowers are in the creek bed behind our house, and the sunflowers and zinnias are in our vegetable garden.

Tomorrow, I am leaving for Gwen Marston's annual quilt retreat in Michigan. I'll be meeting my good friend Wendy from California, and I am so looking forward to having some time away from home!

Toodles for now!