Friday, July 13, 2018

Where in the Mitten?

My early morning flight to Detroit -

The sky was just a mix of magic and clouds.

There is something special about greeting the day just before dawn, and watching the sky reveal itself to the day.

And I was excited – going somewhere I’d never been before, to a town I’d never heard of and really wasn’t sure of its exact location.

I’ve been many places in Michigan before, but in a state that is a peninsula, with water  all around,  it’s easy to get a bit confused.

So I asked my friend Tim – just where IS Alpena.

Asking a Michigander where something is, always resorts in a flurry of hand signals.  Up comes the hand, and the other hand points to where on the hand this place is.

I’ve never seen any other state do it.  Maybe someday I’ll have the Michigan hand-jive down too!

Tim said “It’s close to the tip of the index finger!”

And I found this photo:

Yep!  There it is!

First knuckle, index finger!

And of course if you are referring to the Upper Peninsula, or U.P. – it’s a two hand activity!


Beautiful Lake Huron!

The great lakes are such a wonderful sight to see from the sky.

Click to play:

Flying in along lake Huron, past farms and fields - and the tiny welcoming Alpena airport!


And yes, some stitching happened!


Some napping happened as well –not that these are long flights, but there are only 2 flights coming into Alpena each day, which meant a tiresome 3 hour layover in Detroit before I could catch my little plane to get me here.

One hexie star (blue/brown) done, and another (green/teal) well on the way while I finished up my most recent audio book listen – The Alice Network.  

WOW.  Just WOW.  This was such a good read/listen and I highly recommend it.

You can listen to an Audible clip or find other formats HERE.  Really really an awesome story.


I had caught a bite of lunch in Detroit, and all I really wanted was a nap before heading over to set up for last night’s lecture. I’d been up since 4am, getting to bed after 11pm the night before after a long long drive picking up the vintage beds in Lenoir and getting  them up to Quiltville Inn in a round trip journey of more than 200 miles.  NAP PLEASE!

I am so tickled with the thoughtful hospitality the Gone to Pieces quilt guild has shown.  This bundle of yumminess was waiting for me, the hand quilting and framed picture designated for Quiltville inn, and signed on the back by the guild.  THANK YOU!


A busy full evening happened!

This is a short but full visit.  Wonky Wishes is up on deck today for our workshop – and some fun is planned for tonight as it is the Brown Trout Festival weekend here in Alpena!  

What’s the Brown Trout Festival?  Just wait and see!  When in Alpena – LIVE LOCAL!

It all happens after class today, and I can’t wait.

July 12, 2018 at 10_29PM

All tucked in with my favorite!

Today’s workshop is also being held here in the hotel so all I have to do is head downstairs and get set up – we’ll be ready to roll in about 30 minutes from now.

July 13, 2018 at 06_44AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

It's easy to prove yourself right if you are telling yourself you can't do something.

On Ringo Lake quilt shared in a recent guild event!

Wishing I could remember who and where. Mississippi? (If the maker sees this, please comment and let me know it’s yours!)

Have a wonderful Friday, friends!


  1. Welcome to Michigan's "Eastern Side" Bonnie! I am currently vacationing in East Tawas - at about the 2nd joint on your index finger. Hope you have/had a great stay!

  2. Welcome back to the "High Five State". I live 6 miles south of DTW.

  3. Welcome to Michigan. Hope you enjoy you're short stay with us. I live near the palm. My Date Keeper arrived yesterday and I just love it. Especially, the sneak peek of the quilts from your next book.

  4. I’ve been there! It is near where my great aunt and uncle live! I went to a cute sewing store there. Enjoy!

  5. Welcome to Michigan, I think it's going to be a nice weekend. Wish I had known yo were stuck at the airport so long, I would have popped over to sit and stitch with you! Have a great time in our wonderful state.

  6. Oh my! You are literally just across the lake from me!! Hope you have a fantastic time way up here in the north!

  7. I too read The Alice Network, and I too loved it with a passion. The best part is that it's based on truth!!! A truly amazing story, very well written. Glad you found it! (And I'm looking forward to your class in Omaha in October!)

  8. I visited Alpena many years ago. Loved every minute in this beautiful area. We saw a flock of wild turkeys, a herd of 3 dozen or so deer, & had Walleye caught from Lake Huron. I am in Texas & hope to see you in 2019.

  9. I went to undergrad in Marquette and adopted the "hand signals" (plus the Yooper vs. Troll lingo) very quickly. Coming home to California for a break, someone asked me where Marquette is, and I immediately tried pointing it out on my left hand and got a VERY confused look in return! Enjoy your time in the Mitten State!

  10. West Virginia also has a hand map to show where towns are located...it is, however, a lot more impolite than the Michigan version. But you learn it when you go to college and have to explain where your hometown is.


    1. That's funny! I don't think there is a hand map for Ohio, where i am from.

  11. Welcome to MI. Alpena is beautiful and the Brown Trout Fest is always fun. Enjoy some fresh walleye while you are here.

  12. I love your inspiration for the day and the colors of the On Ringo Lake behind it! I had never heard of using your hand for a map. Clever.

  13. 52 years ago we spent our honeymoon in Alpena! We love Michigan especially the UP. The lovely ladies of Gone to Pieces quilt guild are so fortunate to spend time with you. Enjoy your time in Michigan. hugs

  14. Oklahoma can be viewed as a handmap. I'll show you when I come to Texas in February!

  15. Went to school in Michigan for 8 years. The hand map is second nature by the end of your first year as a Michigander. ;<)

  16. Alaska has a hand map! Hold your right hand out, palm away from you. Point your thumb down. Point your index finger straight out. Curl up your other three fingers.

    Your index finger is the Aleutian chain. Your thumb is the panhandle. Your other knuckles are NW Alaska, the Seward Peninsula, and SW Alaska.

  17. Am also have the 'The Alice Network' very emotional. Glad you enjoyed it too. I have two hours left. Listen when on the machine! Thanks you what you do make me connected to the world. Take care.

  18. LOL. I live in Michigan smack in the middle between Alpena and Traverse City. I've always thought I was lucky to be able to show where I live by raising my hand. When I read your post I laughed out loud. I pictured myself doing the same. Wish I was in Alpena to join your quilting group. Your quilts are wonderful and I will tackle one of your patterns soon. Have fun.

  19. I read t
    The Alice Network last winter; what a great book! It got so intense I would have to put it down for a few days, then when I started reading again, couldn't put it down.
    I so enjoy keeping up with all you are doing. Don't know where you find the time or energy. Quilt On!

  20. I can show people my home town on a sock. We grew up in the "toe" of Indiana. LOL But honestly, we don't smell like stinky socks!

  21. What a great way to show where places are in a state! Washington does that too with your right hand, make a fist and move your thumb out for the Olympic Peninsula, the gap between your thumb and fist is Puget Sound. I wonder if other states have a "hand map"?

  22. I read The Alice Network last year and loved it, suggested it to my book club and it was one of the ones chosen for this year. I'll be leading the discussion in September. My husband also read it, after I did and kept commenting about this or that from it, and he enjoyed it a great deal as well. I had never heard of these women, love books based on true stories. Also loved the idea of a hand map for Michigan!


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