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).
...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.
New, featured and/or seasonal lines tend to be in the center of the store...
...and the color wall is around the outer wall.
Novelties under the front window...