Thanks to my friend Randy, who wanted to play travel agent and find me a hotel on hotels.com that was in the Shipshewana,Indiana area but would not cost me $115 a night...I am 15 miles away in Sturgis,Michigan. What a riot! After she clicked purchase on the website for me...she said..OMGoodness!...I just put you in Michigan!
Not a biggie...pretty drive here, and nice to be out of the touristy Amish stuff. I really admire the people as a culture,but the touristy stuff gets a bit overly commercial and a bit much for me.
Surprisingly, though the hotel doesn't look like much on the outside, the room is spacious and very clean and comfortable with all I need. SO...I might stay here a couple nights instead of just the one I planned. I need some time off. I need a retreat from the retreat I just finished!
I arrived in Hicksville Ohio on Thursday afternoon. On Friday morning, I was honored to meet up with Subee of Subee Sews and caravan with her out to Milford, Indiana for our retreat at Camp Mack! What a fabulous location this was. Camp Mack is owned by Church of the Brethren, and it has hotel style lodging, comfy beds, GREAT FOOD (goodness, great food!) and sits on a lake. We had two large rooms all full of quilters sewing pedal to the metal laughing up a storm, taking off to go shopping at near by quilt shops, having a ball.
The weather on Friday got a bit rainy, but that was okay! I have to tell you the most bonding experience was the "opening ceremony" that we did. If you have read Jennifer Chiaverini's (spelling) Elm Creek novels, you will remember that they gather in a circle and pass a lit candle around introducing themselves and stating what they hoped to accomplish by being there. We each held our own tapers, and the first person lit hers....told about herself, and then when she was done, her neighbor lit HER taper off the first one, and the first one went and set her candle in the middle of the center table in a big bowl of sand (we didn't want to burn the place down!) And it was just really a very moving experience! Funny, warm, hilarious...it was really a great way to start this retreat off.
Saturday was my Star Struck workshop..and if you weren't taking the class, you could "free sew" in the other room across the foyer. In between class and dinner the weather had cleared enough for me to grab a sweater and do some power walking on the trails through the woods. Just beautiful! I took a couple pics of wildflowers I came across. It's starting to feel like fall already up here.
After dinner Friday I was able to do some power sewing myself on some projects I had brought. I have decided to rename my trusty bernina...since she often accompanies me in the front passenger seat, with the seat belt holding her securely in place, I've decided to call her SHOTGUN!! :cD Really, as heavily loaded as my car is, there is no WAY to put her in another rolling type case and make room for it in the back. I have to take her "au naturel" and just buckle her in. Shotgun is a great nickname, don't you think?
Sunday was the Virginia Bound workshop...and the scraps were flying! Some people found out that they like the ease of running pre-cut patches through the machine as in the Star Struck class more than they liked piecing with odd strings onto paper foundations. But SOME people were the opposite...they loved the freedom of just being able to grab this and that and making a mess and digging in and loving the variety you get when string piecing. It was a perfect example on why we should try anything and everything, and even if you learn that you don't LIKE a technique, you've at least learned THAT much! Anything that expands our boundaries gives us a bigger playground to play in, right?
Last evening most of the ladies left..but 5 of us hung around.....3 of us even stayed one more night (It was only $24!! what a bargain!) and so we caravanned out for Chinese Food. 2 of the 5 left to go home....3 of us stayed up and sewed. (This is like 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed....)
In the morning..this morning....2 of us went to Shipshewana! And then one went her own way.....
And now we are down to just me :c) In Michigan!
Shipshewana was wonderful today. Maryann and I first started out by hitting the bulk foods store. Oh the goodies! I bought bulk spices, bulk rolled 7 grain cereal, oh just oodles of stuff I can't get at home. I love stores like this. After that we parked at Yoders....and from there we walked everywhere. We had to hike off all the good food we'd had all weekend. We found Lolly's...and we found Lolly's BASEMENT...where there is this rowboat FULL of FQs!! What a hoot. I felt like a kid in one of those McDonald's Ball Play Grounds! If you buy 12 you get them for $2. So of course I needed to find 12. They are going in a project I have with me, so I'm trying to justify it, right? More shopping, more browsing, lunch on the patio at a sandwich place...and Maryann took off her way. That left me the afternoon to go tour the Mennohof. Interesting! Was a great place to rest my feet and legs. I learned some things I didn't know. Of course, if I had to tell you my fave experience of the day, it was long before we reached Shipshewana. As we got closer, I started getting glimpses of Amish Wash on the line...it's Monday, don't you know? And I sent up a prayer of thanks that I didn't have to prove what kind of housekeeper and wife I was by being up the earliest and being the first one to have my laundry hanging in the breeze! I saw one lady hanging hers, and felt bad for her, all of her other neighbors had beat her to it, the slovenly lazy woman!! It was 8am, and she was LATE getting it out! Poor thing...
This post is getting extra long, so I think I'll close here and add some more when I am able later. These pics were taken on my phone, so if anything is out of focus or uncropped...hey, what can I say??
I'm headed back to Indiana today! The car is packed and loaded to the gills. I've got book on MP3 player (Listening to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett..) extra music on the iphone in case I get too bored with the book...
I've got more projects than I need, which is the same thing as bringing a security blanket, right?
Here's a funny that came my way....things I will Not be doing, but would be fun to :c)
30 Fun Things To Do When Driving:
1. Vary your vehicle’s speed inversely with the speed limit. 2. Roll down your windows and blast talk radio. Attempt to headbang. 3. At stop lights, eye the person in the next car suspiciously. With a look of fear, lock your doors. 4. Two words: Chicken suit. 5. Write the words “Help me” on your back window in red paint. The more it looks like blood, the better. 6. Have conversations, looking periodically at the passenger seat, when driving alone. 7. Laugh a lot. A whole lot. 8. Stop at the green lights. 9. Go at the red ones. 10. Occasionally wave a stuffed animal/troll doll/Barbie out your window or sunroof. Feel free to make it dance. 11. Eat food that requires silverware. 12. Pass cars, then drive very slowly. 13. Sing without having the radio on. 14. Honk frequently without motivation. 15. Wave at people often. If they wave back, offer an angry look and an obscene gesture. 16. Ask people for Grey Poupon. 17. Let pedestrians know who’s boss. 18. Look behind you frequently, with a very paranoid look. 19. Restart your car at every stop light. 20. Hang numerous car-fresheners in the rear-view mirror. Talk to them, stroking them lovingly. 21. Lob burning things in the windows of smokers who throw their butts out the window. 22. Keep at least five cats in the car. 23. Root (cheer, not snuffle in the mud) for firetrucks. 27. Stop and collect roadkill. 28. Stop and pray to roadkill. 29. Throw Spam. 30. Get in the fast lane and gradually … slow … down … to a stop. then get out and watch the cars. Throw Spam at them. 31. Chinese Firedrill. Get at least 2 people in a car (the more the better) when the light turns red everyone get out and run around the car and yell “fire, fire!” Then get back in the car but switch drivers. Then drive off when the light turns green and act like nothing happened. (Called Chinese Fire Drill because China is so crowded that there is no place to run in a fire. So you have to get back in.)
Can you do a chinese firedrill by yourself?? Heck, they might not think it so strange in West Virginia! *LOL*
Last evening when I was gathering everything to go to my Bee meeting...I went to add the pink thread to the handwork bag for binding the quilt at bee, and lo and behold...(And a HUGE AHA! and TADA!! and HAPPY DANCE!) There was the companion angle...I must have picked it up and put it into the bag when emptying my car!
I knew it had to be around somewhere, because I had the easy angle, and knew they were together..so that issue is now SOLVED!
I had a great time at bee last night. These ladies are SO fun to be around, oh we laughed and joked and talked and commiserated on life, love and chin hairs. :c)
Yes, you heard that right. Yesterday, I kept feeling SOMETHING tickle me. I couldn't figure out what it was, I kept brushing it away, brushing it away, right there, under my chin, on my neck.
I found the culprit..a hair..about 2" long. Only.......*gasp* it was ATTACHED! OMGoodness. I was horrified! I called Jeff to come check it out. He was repulsed..*LOL* And then curious...."Mom, how come YOU can grow those, and I can't?!"
Straight to the bathroom to grab the tweezers out of the drawer and remove that offensive 2" long hair.
What I want to know is.....is walking around with a 2" long "under the chin" hair akin to walking around with broccoli or spinach in your teeth? Where everyone else sees it but you, and you don't find it out yourself for a long time, then have to go through your memory wondering if people were really smiling at you because they found you charming, or they were just secretly chuckling at your broccoli grin? :cÞ
Do me a favor. Next time you see me with a really long chin hair, take me aside, do the kind thing, and tell me. I promise you will be my friend for life!! Back to the kitting up. I've got my little block parts all stacked in this walmart cake carrier! I love these..I can stack 4 of these in my big Lands End tote, and it's perfect to take to a retreat! I've got some other projects to go too. I'm working on a quilt where part of the blocks are string pieced, so that string piecing bag is going to go with me too. The phone book foundations are already cut to 8". :c)
I talked to my editor yesterday...quilts need to be sent for photography TOMORROW! *EEK!* So I've got to finish that binding and sleeve on the last one today, make sure everything is labeled, do the instructions for the two last quilts..and get everything to mail off tomorrow. It's going to be a cram packed couple of days.
I'm off to the gym...I've got an appt with my personal trainer at 10, I'm sure she is going to kill me but good since I haven't seen her for 3 weeks. I need it. I just hope I can walk when she is done with me :c)
I've just decided to rebel! I'm staying home today...I'm kitting up stuff for taking to Indiana with me. I'm teaching at a retreat at Camp Mack in Milford Indiana starting Friday. It's sponsord by the Sew Easy guild of Butler Indiana! I SO can not wait...
The following weekend I'm teaching at Home of the Classics Quilt Show in Auburn, IN...I've got 5 days in between both gigs, and I'm staying with Bev, who has told me I can feel free to sew all I want while there.
So, back to the kitting....it's lots easier and more productive for me if I kit up the tops I'm making, so I don't have to bring the WHOLE STASH in the car. And I figure if I need something, well, what's a girl to do? SHOP? :cD It's been a long time since I've stayed in Jammies all day. I have a quilt bee meeting tonight at Laura's, but never fear, I'll be OUT of Jammies by then. I finished quilting project #12 for the leaders/enders book, and it's coming with me to put binding/sleeve on while at bee. So some of you will get a sneak preview ;c)
I had a great time snapping pics of vintage quilts while wandering antique malls, so I'm leaving you with some eye candy here! Maybe, just maybe you'd like to join me for a Jammie Monday too? Come on, you know you WANT to!
I'm down to the wire on getting this next book to bed. As most of you know, its title so far is "Adventures with Leaders & Enders" with a subtitle of "The Joy of Piecing Between the Lines".
I'm not sure how much room this book will have. I'm limited on page numbers. and they have even gone to s smaller book size, about 8.5 X 11 Which is a bit narrower than the last book. If they shrink the diagrams, it shouldn't make too much difference I don't think.
Remember last book? i had you send in your recycling hints? I am wondering...IF there is space...if you'd like to send in testimonials and comments on how sewing with Leaders & Enders has enhanced your quilt making.
You can easily leave your testimonial as a comment to this post. If you would do that, I would be ever so grateful! please include your first name, last initial and your city/state. I'll turn everything in to my editor, it will be up to them to decide what they have room for, but I think it would be fun to expand on the ideas in the book with things you have done with your own quilting!
I arrived home Friday evening...what a beautiful day to drive from Ohio to West Virginia, all the way through the mountains to Virginia, and down into North Carolina! it was overcast, but not raining most of the way, which makes it easy on the eyes for seeing. Blaring sun doesn't make me so happy when driving...but overcast? nice!
It did rain a bit once I went through that last tunnel from WV to VA..enough to clear the bugs off my windshield and then go away! Perfect.
Needless to say that yesterday was spent unloading the car, going to the gym and the bank, and taking care of household things....groceries had to be bought in there somewhere too, the house was empty after 2 weeks away!
I just brought my purchases from my trip down...well...except for the ones that were edible, and got eaten on my journey! I found a Trader Joes not far from the hotel where I stayed in Indianapolis, and I had fun doing some shopping there. We don't have one here in Winston Salem. My weird purchase? Candied Ginger chews. they are hotter than you think they would be, but good! I also bought a bar of dark chocolate with chrystalized ginger in it. Yummy.
I'm sure you are going to be rolling your eyes at me....I was shown the way to the Goodwill Clearance Center in Indianapolis, not far from my hotel either! (Do you think they booked me near by on purpose? *LOL*) And I did find some shirts that I needed for a project that was with me. Not just for stock piling, but ones I could cut up and use right away while on the road. I'm sewing for the sequel to Scraps & Shirttails so it is fun to pick up shirts on my travels and incorporate them in the projects!
What was I in most need of? NEUTRALS! LIGHTS! I am always drawn to the blues, reds, greens, oranges, etc...but a white shirt with a pale stripe or plaid to it just doesn't ring the bells, you know? but that was my mission this time. LIGHTS. And I found them. And some others too, and since they were something like $1.39 a pound. They came home too. And what else was at the clearance center? How about a 1930's feedsack doll quilt...hand quilted? in the $1.39 a pound bin?? I snatched THAT right up! It's pretty primitive, maybe made by a girl for her dolly, but it will be a cute display piece.
In the pic above you see my goodies :c) The dolly quilt is the one with the light blue border....bags of shirts on the floor...
On the way to Ohio back from Indy, I stopped at a HUGE antique mall..and that's where the other damage was done..*LOL* I found the 9 patch crib quilt, all indigos and shirtings...for $40. It's in GREAT shape, and I love seeing all the shirtings in it!
I really love pink depression glass, and the pink biscuit jar was in a booth that was 20% off..it just had to come too. The ironing board cover...well...it was in the most offensive booth in the place! *LOL* Granted, it was a cutter quilt, and you can tell. The ironing board covers aren't TOO bad, and I have this one here on my antique wooden board for display, but I would much rather see cutter quilts being used for things like table runners and teddy bears, than made into *GASP* toilet seat covers?!? and toilet TANK covers?! Is this just because of my knowledge of what it is like to raise boys? Still. Ruffled lace around a quilted seat cover is just not my thing...
I was taken to the Goodwill store in Pataskala, OH, also on the lookout for more shirts. Hit the jackpot! Pink tags were 99 cents. Yellow tags were 50% off...so I paid 99 cents for most of the shirts, and 1.50 for the ones that were yellow tags. Not bad. Hard time restraining myself, but a quick thought of what awaits me at home with all I've accumulated kind of did put on the brakes.
So what's up now? I'm home for a week, and I'm book writing hot and heavy. Everything has to be to the editor by mid Sept so we can get this book put to bed and ready for release in February! It's all so exciting. And I know I've kept a lot of things under wraps, but I just feel the need to. I hope you understand and will like what you see when it comes out!
I'm off to Indiana again on the 27th. I'm going to know this road very well by the time I'm done with the fall! I'm teaching at a retreat at Camp Mack,in Milford, IN, and then the Home of the Classics Quilt Show in Auburn, IN....
Need to pack up more projects for the next shirttails book so I can sew on the road!
I'm still on the road...heading up for 2 weeks now! I've been bouncing from town to town giving workshops and lecture/trunkshows from place to place.
Sorry if I haven't been able to connect much! I'm in small towns, bad connection, no connection, or just too tired after giving an all day workshop followed by an evening trunkshow and having to drive 5.5 hours to the next place.
I have all these good intentions to keep up with the blogging in between everything, but..well, sometimes something has to be let go, and the blogging was it!
I have had a wonderful time meeting quilters I only knew via email or their blogs! It has been so fun to put faces to names and voices to faces and put it all together!
The show and tell at the guild meetings has been so inspiring. Each guild has it's own flavor and it is exciting to see what is going on with quilting all over this country of ours (and the world at large)
I've taken some pics on my phone as I've been out and about. What you see above are my shots of Lake Erie, from where I was in Westlake Ohio. PRETTY!!!! I can't imagine what it is like in winter time...I stayed 10 minutes away from the lake, and when I found out how close I was, I just had to go put my toes in. It's the North Coast, you know? :cD I'm now in Newark OH....home of the Longaberger Basket Co! I love oddities, so we had to drive by the building...which is of course SHAPED like a basket! Too funny...
While in Indiana....after teaching a full day workshop, I was invited to go sew for the EVENING from 6pm to 11pm at the quilt shop "sew in!!" And that was a lot of fun. I've got 4 tops that I've been able to finish while on the road...one was assembled into rows and needed to be sewn into the top, and borders added. That is done. One other was a center that ALSO needed borders..that is done...one was a pile of blocks that needed set..that is done...
And I was planning on setting that one with a bunch of big 1/2 square triangles for setting it "straight furrows" but it didn't work out. The 1/2 square tiangles overwhelmed the blocks. So..did hour glass blocks instead, and that left me with a bunch of 8" 1/2 square triangles. THOSE became the seeds for the next top which got sewn together yesterday (still needing borders) And I am off and running on another project...so my down time has been productive even if I couldn't get time for an internet connection!
I've got an afternoon workshop today, a lecture tonight, a workshop tomorrow..and home on Thursday...So it will probably be a few days before you hear from me again!
(but thanks for the emails telling me to come up for air and asking me if I was okay!)
Well, all except the binding that is, which is sewn on (as is the sleeve) and will go to Ohio with me tomorrow, and I'll finish it on the road :c)
I was trying to think how many states this little quilt has traveled to and been quilted in. TOO MANY!! I lost count! These pics are from my phone, so they might not show the quilting detail really well, but I'm tickled pink. I finished the quilting in Georgia a couple days ago, sitting on Joan Garland's couch :c)
I had a wonderful time with the Hall County Quilt guild....plus the other 30 or so visitors that came from as far away as parts of Alabama. One lady also came from somewhere like Michigan, she happened to be in town visiting her son and came to the lecture/trunkshow/booksigning I did at a local shop after the guild meeting. It's SO fun to be in touch with quilters from every where. Like we are our own Sorority Phi Beta Quilta or something ;c)
Many of you may remember my dilemma about a year and a half ago when I was moving to NC from SC, downsizing my house, and having to sell my piano because there wasn't room for it. It broke my heart, but I did get rid of it and thought "good riddance" because my life was too busy to really have time to practice and play. Over the past 6 months or so I have really really wanted that piano BACK! Only there was still the problem of where to put one. I don't have inside walls that are in good locations for pianos. There is that whole issue of having to tune one...
Through talking with a friend, and then seeing my mom's digital piano when I went home to Idaho for Mother's Day and trying it there...I really decided that this would be GREAT for me. I ordered a yamaha, and it arrived last week! I am SO tickled with it. The keys are weighted action, they feel like playing a real piano, doesn't feel or sound like an organ, it SOUNDS like a piano! So I have had fun reclaiming sheet music and feeling very rusty with it all, but loving it.
The piano is down here in my studio with me.....I moved an antique treadle in a parlor cabinet out to the other half of the basement and rearranged things, and it is perfect in here up against the wall!
I realized something...that my music was the one thing in my life that was NOT quilt related. And it was important for me to have something that got me AWAY from even the quilting. I feel balanced. It is a stress reliever to me to sit and play, even if I am rusty (okay, I suck!) and I have missed it!
I'm packing the car right now (well as soon as I hit send) to head to Ohio and Indiana in the morning. I won't be back til the 20th. I will try to post on the road, but I'm not promising anything! I get down to the end of the day and there is just no energy left....
Oh, and here's a funny. This is when you KNOW your planets are aligned or whatever:
I had to fill book orders today, and I needed to print stamps from stamps.com. If you've not done this..here is how it works.
You have a little "bank account" that you set up like a debit thing....tell stamps.com how much money you want them to charge your credit card for, and then you can print stamps up to that amount.
There are special sheets of paper that you have to print on.
Printer #1 was OUT of ink. I needed stamps PRONTO. I thought I'd try printing the stamps on printer #2, my laser jet. When you say print a full sheet...you see the money DISAPPEAR from the little "bank account" reserve fund....however much it costs to print the whole sheet. In this case, about $65.00!!
At this point, the printing should commence. But it started...and stopped...and said PAPER JAM!! But the money was now GONE from my account! crap crap crap crap....
When this happens, you are supposed to clear the paper jam....print out a refund report..mail it to stamps.com in the snail mail (with ANOTHER stamp!) and in about 6 weeks they will credit your account. AUUUUGHH! $65.00 down the tubes!
I still couldn't get the printer to go back to normal, and then I thought.....maybe...just maybe....that the printer memory STILL had the stamp printing job in it! So...I turned off the computer, and when it rebooted....yep! the printer memory took over and I was there with the form to PRINT those stamps!!! ANd they DID print..and I was NOT out the $65.00 for 6 weeks. Can you spell RELIEF!??
So something must have been right in my world today....amazing.
And with that story, I'm off to finish packing, get a good night's sleep, and hit the road bright and early!!