Friday, September 30, 2011

Leaf Peeping...

It's that time of year again in Michigan...LEAF PEEPER SEASON!  Time to drive around and drink in all the glorious color and wonder of the impending fall season.  We are off doing that this weekend, toward the west side of the state to the Saugatuk/Douglas area.  Colorful leaves, cooler temps, gusty winds, apple trees sagging under the weight of ripe apples, tart, fresh-pressed cider, colorful pumpkins piled up everywhere, brisk walks on the shore of Lake Michigan...this is my favorite season. 

Fall is nice in Alabama where I grew up, but it is on steroids in Michigan.  I remember standing on the football field during halftime at Auburn University on an early November Saturday afternoon...poaching/steaming/stewing in a wool marching band uniform as the "lovely fall temps" soared into the high 80's.  Sorry, that's just not FALL!

When I posted weeks ago about airing out "All Around the Town" at the local Saline Country Fair, I had not yet collected the nice prizes I received for getting the blue ribbon in the applique/hand quilted wall hanging category and the overall Best of Show ribbon.  I am LONG overdue in acknowledging the two local stores that offered the prizes!
Ann Arbor Sewing Center donated the prize for Best of Show - a lovely padded sewing basket laden with all kinds of nice quilty treats.  There were also patterns, tools, and lovely surprises.  Thank you, thank you for supporting the Fair!
Then there was this lovely parcel for taking the blue ribbon from Leabu Sewing Center, also located in Ann Arbor...(I recently bought my Janome 6600 sewing machine from them).
There was this lovely book...
 ...and some fun fat quarters, patterns, etc.
With Boxer Rebellion all basted, I hope to spend some evening time of this mini-break weekend doing some hand quilting while sipping some apple cider.  Ahhhh...fall (sigh).

Well, I have FINALLY passed the 70 pounds lost mark.  I am happy to put that 10-pound mark BEHIND me (or maybe, that's the area the 10 pounds came from?!?  Can't tell...I don't have to look at that side of me...God is merciful...).  When I occasionally help out with end-of-the-year inventory at the local quilt shop, we weigh the bolts of fabric, then the owner uses some magic formula to figure out how much fabric is on hand at that time.  70 pounds of bolted fabric is a HUGE pile (but lovely and alluring in its own way, just like me...).  A recent boxed purchase from IKEA weighed about 70 pounds.  I remember huffing and puffing (and cursing!) as I single-handedly unloaded it from the car.  It is unbelievable that I have been hauling THAT around for so long (and much more).  Clothes are getting baggy, rings are getting loose, granny panties are getting "grannier," bones are appearing that I forgot I had. 

On a related subject, you've GOT to check out Mary Lou's latest post at Cheaper Than Therapy Quilting entitled Amazing Lift.  You will be glad you did (Warning:  go pee first...).

Maybe mid-life is the time for large weight loss...while everyone else around me is complaining about aches, pains, etc., I am just thrilled to see my feet and be able to tie my shoes without setting Guinness World Records for holding my breathe (and turning a shade of blue that I normally seek out when looking for fabric.)   Life is good.   :o)

A HUGE thank you to everyone who offered such wonderful suggestions about watermarking photos, copyrighting original designs, buying good design software and hardware, and all the encouragement following my last post.  I appreciate your time and effort.  I hope to be able to share more with you soon about all that.

If you are "leaf peeping" in lower Michigan this weekend, I hope you can find Jennifer's Quilt Shop in Pinckney, Michigan.  This is Jennifer Burg, the owner and a friendlier, more bubbly person you won't meet.  Her laugh is downright infectious!!
When you first drive up to her shop, just a half block off the center of town, you see a lovely little white cottage with beautiful flowers. 
Then you step inside and think you've stepped into a much BIGGER cottage/store.  She has so much lovely fabric in there.  Once you regain consciousness and start breathing on your own again, you start counting the large list of fabric types that she features.  She carries a huge amount of 30's, reproduction, fun and fresh, seasonal, and color blenders.  She now carries wool as well.
She fills every square inch of her store with cotton yumminess, books, patterns, notions, kits, batting, samples, knick knacks...and somehow she offers all this without making one feel overcrowded.
One of my favorite things about this shop is that they cut (and maintain!) fat quarters of EVERY BOLT!  I love her "11 for the price of 10" policy on FQs.  And they are located right there, close to the original bolt.  Current Block-of-the-Months are also cheerfully displayed.  Just look at all those lovely Farmer's Wife completed blocks.
Sometimes I find myself there for no particular reason and just buy a "pick-me-up" pile of FQs...just a taste of my 10 new best friends.
Her quilt kits are displayed in cute gift bags on top of the shelves...never out of reach.
 New, featured and/or seasonal lines tend to be in the center of the store...
 ...and the color wall is around the outer wall.


Books, books, books...
 Novelties under the front window...
...notions and patterns to fill every need.



Neutrals and batiks behind the cutting area...
...and a well-stocked, well-rotated sale area in front of the cutting area. 

I hope you have a great weekend, peeping or not, on this first weekend of October!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

16 comments:

  1. Congrats on your Blue Ribbon. Well done! Excellent review of the quilt shop. I must make the trip there (about 45-60 minutes from Lansing I think). I'm a sucker for fat quarters and love it when they're arranged above the fabrics.

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  2. Wonderful post.
    Congratulations on your blue ribbon and the weight loss. The latter is very hard work - I know personally. You deserve a huge pat on the back.
    The store review was very nice - I am sure the shop owner really appreciates it too. :)

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  3. You just made me sooo homesick. Texas falls just dont cut the mustard if you grew up in Michigan!! I miss leaf peeping! lol never heard it called that. If you drive west thru the Irish Hills on highway 12 its a nice drive and beautiful this time of year. At the corner of 127 and 12 there is a nice place to stop and eat, i think its still called Artesian Wells. I am looking forward to some pictures!

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  4. lol i was all weepy about michigan... had to say more. Your "all around town" quilt is one of the prettiest quilts i have ever seen and I love it. I have a picture of it as my wall paper on my home computer and in the mornings i sit and stare at it, after several months i still see something new. I aspire to make a quilt like that someday!! The weightloss... that is sooo awesome!! congratulations.

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  5. Wow! What a great post. So much to see and enjoy.

    I love fall in Michigan too. I feel I am so blessed to be living here :) We are taking in some leaf sites this weekend too!!

    I bought a Brother sewing machine years and years ago at Leabu Sewing Center. Nice folks!

    Funny that you should mention Jennifer's quilt shop. I was just looking that up yesterday as it's one I have not been to. It looks fantastic so thanks for sharing that with us:)

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  6. What a fun post - bright, cheerful, lots of eye-candy, and delivered with wonderful wit! Congratulations again on that blue ribbon and even more so on the 70# loss - WOW!!

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  7. Great post, You had me laughing and drooling. That makes me sound crazy!

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  8. Congratulations. I am going to have to come back later tonight when I can look more closely. I really wanted to tell you about my connection to Rock City advertising. My mother is from Chattanooga. My uncle was the advertising artist (now would be graphic artist) back when the See Rock City ad campaign back in the 50's & 60's. He is the artist who came up with the dwarves and such back then. The original art work is on display in the Rock City admin offices. Wish they would give them to his children.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

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  9. Teresa, its a good thing that shop is 1500 miles away from me, or I'd be in big trouble!!!! The leaves ARE starting to turn in north Alabama. Just spent the week at DeSoto State Park near Ft. Payne. Weather was wonderful. Had to have a blanket every night.

    And, CONGRATULATIONS on the 70 pounds gone. What a great accomplishment. You should be very proud of yourself.

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  10. nice post. Now you can use these business pages directory for bulk silk fabrics import & export business.

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  11. Congratulations on the ribbon and the weight loss! You are my hero!

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  12. It's been a lont time since we've been to Rock City and Ruby Falls. Love that block. Congratulations on the weight loss. Great photos in this post!

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  13. Congratulations on the ribbon and losing weight!

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  14. what a awesome shop!
    Congrats on the ribbon and the prize!
    also congrats on the weight loss, you must feel terrific~

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  15. What a great post! Congrats on your win. I always love seeing people's quilt shoppes too around the country...so thanks for sharing!

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