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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where in the world is QuiltGranny?

Missing in action, you ask? Swallowed by the mounds of fabric? Lost in her stewdio?
No, not at all! I've been off to my annual Beaver Island Quilt Retreat with Gwen Marston and 30 of my closest (once a year) best quilting buddies. We meet in Elk Rapids, MI now, at the White Birch Lodge where Gwen has been hosting this retreat for the last 8 or so years. Before that, and until 9/11, it had always been on Beaver Island, MI. I always go up a couple of days early to explore Michigan, since that part of the country was never in my growing up years. September, right after Labor Day is just marvelous because all the vacationers are gone, but the weather is still generally really nice. And this year, it couldn't have been more glorious!
So, Sunday was my arrival day, and I spent a bit of time getting settled in, buying groceries for the condo, and going to JoAnn's in Traverse City for the bits of things I had forgotten before driving on up to Elk Rapids. Monday morning found my friend, Carol, and I headed even further north to Mackinaw City to catch the ferry for Mackinac Island. It was about an hour and a half drive, but oh!, so pretty!
Carol and Quiltgranny waiting for the ferry.
We took the catamaran because it's a smoother ride they say.
This is the Mackinac Bridge (Mighty Mac), the third longest suspension bridge in the world - it's 5 miles from shoreline to shoreline!
And the wind was in my hair since I had a window seat!
We did the carriage ride around the island which was very informative.
We had a nice break at the butterfly house on the island.
I think they liked my lotion and my hairspray!
It was delightful to see all the different beautiful butterflies here!
This is a view of Lake Huron from one of the highest points on the island.
We did a little shopping on the island, and had a marvelous hamburger at a tiny little 1950's diner, the Chuckwagon. It was served on a pretzel bun which made it even better.
A wonderful garden shop chock full of all kinds of bright, pretty things!
Tuesday found us going to Sutton's Bay for lunch at Martha's, and to visit one of our favorite garden Shops. The drive is always lovely along the shoreline from Elk Rapids to Sutton's Bay. And yes, we stopped at at least one quilt shop along the way!
We had to be back by late afternoon for the start of the retreat. We always gather together and talk about our plans for the week, but this time, there was other news to add. Gwen has been doing this retreat for 29 years this year, and she says she is ready to retire after thirty years next year...sort of like the Detroit auto workers - thirty years and you're out. At any rate, next year will be a transition year, with Gwen still there, but along with Pat Holly and her sister, Sue Nickels. I hope they will keep the "retreat" in our retreat, and I know it will not be the same without Gwen, but, I think it will still be a great time. They might even be able to teach me I might even learn some new things!
     This year's theme was medallion quilts, and the next morning, Gwen shared many quilts with us.  She gets inspiration for them by looking at the parts of quilts in antique quilts, magazines and books.  I took a lot of pictures, but mostly just the parts that interested me.  AND, most of my pictures had other people's parts in them, so they weren't so interesting to share with you:)  This is the one that really intrigues me.  I love the setting triangles around the central medallion.  AND look closely to find an extra border in it that will make it a bit longer than it is wide so it isn't just square as most medallions are.  I kept this quilt in mind as I worked through the week.
Gwen's medallion quilt
Isn't this a clever way to repeat those zebras?  Carol B. just made chunks of fabric for the heads and used a stripe fabric for the legs.  She will use this as a lower border. 
     There were many so quilt tops made this week, but I haven't sorted through the pictures yet to give attribution to them.  I will probably drop a few pictures here and there in the coming posts as soon as I match up who made what.  They were all just spectacular, though!
This is the view right outside my condo door.
Sunset on the lake from my doorway.
Annie from Australia brought treats all the way from home - Tim Tams, Iced VoVos, and Crackers.  Yum, yum!
A string pieced corner triangle and a liberated border, hmmmmmm.  Thanks, Ronnie!
This is the view from where I sat and sewed each day.  This was the last day:(
Have ironing board, will travel, Marge and Carol W.
Thank heavens for tape and newspaper so I didn't have to do the math!
I'm sure you are all waiting with baited breath to see what I accomplished this past week, eh? I'll surprise you - I really DID get something sewn in and amongst all the travel and the chatting and the eating! And I love it. I think I am going to tweak it a bit, and then move on to the next section. You can double click any of these pictures for the larger view. And will be another one for MY bed, so I have a ways to go! So, off to sew!


Tina B said...

Thanks so much for sharing about your retreat. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The place is beautiful and looks mega-relaxing! Love the medallion action too!

Tina B said...

Thanks for sharing about your retreat. Sounds like you had a great time. The place is beautiful and looks mega-relaxing. I love the medallions too!