Monday, September 19, 2016

Beckwith's Apple Orchard - Our Family Tradition

We have watched her grow by the apple tree!
2016 Look How You Have Grown!

Late summer or fall could not be complete without a trip to Beckwith Orchards in Kent.  On the spur of the moment, My son, Adam, my granddaughter, Zoe and I decided to go for a slice of apple pie and ended up walking through Hal's Dahlia Patch.  His diverse assortment of dahlias is a sight to behold.  We had the pleasure of talking to Hal and found out that each dahlia has a name, like roses.  He puts the name tag into the bag of tubers when he digs them up each fall.  the next spring the flowers are replanted and the name is tucked in at the bottom of each plant.  He said that the colors remind him of girls' prom dresses.  We agreed!  How fortunate that he shares his garden with all the visitors at the apple farm.
Hal presented Zoe with a special dahlia.  She loved it!

I think the name of this one is "Exuberant"

"Go, and sit upon the lofty hill
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound." 

~ excerpt from "The Autumn" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)

"The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart."

~ excerpt from "The Autumn" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Coopersville, Michigan Farm Museum & Quilt Show

In early August, my dear friend Barb and I were excited to travel with Eagle Rock Tours to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the AQS (American Quilters Society) Quilt Week.  As you can see from our picture, we were in the company of lovely ladies who enjoy quilting, and as you can tell by the bags, who enjoy shopping.  What an awesome day we had at the DeVos Place Convention Center.

Coopersville Farm Museum

The next day after the AQS show our tour visited the small town of Coopersville, Michigan.  This hidden gem is a sweet country museum that has grown from originally a tractor museum to a community and event center.  To check out their well designed website:  CLICK HERE!     A list of some of their upcoming community events that is posted on their site - they sure keep busy!  
Petting Zoo ~ Chili Cook-off ~ Pancake Breakfast ~ Quilt Show ~ Doll Show ~ Art Galleries ~ Fall Kids Party ~ Tea Parties ~ Christmas with Mrs. Claus
~ Jam Nights ~ Bands & Buds ~ Rotary Club ~ Train Guys ~ Tractor Club ~ Coin & Collectibles Club ~ Quilting Circle ~ Tractor Show ~ Bake Sale ~ more!

The visit to Coopersville Museum and quilt show was a highlight for me.  Take a look at how the director of the museum, Lee Ann Proia, skillfully arranged the quilts around the other exhibits in the museum.   There were model trains, old sewing machines, tractors, barn walls, old wringer washers, wrenches, kaleidoscopes and more.  

Remember the old feed sack quilts?

This old wringer washer took me back to the days of watching my mom do the wash.

As you can tell by the pictures, this is not your ordinary quilt show.  It was a treat for the eye to see so many beautiful quilts displayed with such care in this rural museum.  What a delight to browse through these displays; I would love to go back again.  I would highly encourage anyone who travels to Michigan to stop by and visit the Coopersville Farm Museum.  You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Suits Me To a T Quilt Retreat 2016

I can't even begin to express how much fun I had this weekend at the Suits Me To A T Retreat in Berlin, Ohio at Zincks Inn.  It was such an awesome retreat and my Q-Bees and I had sew much fun.  There was plenty of good food and lots of projects to show and share.  That is the best part of quilting for me, being with other quilters and sharing the creativity.  Of course I like the "Gabbing" part too.  

Below is a sampling of quilts.  I could not cover all the wonderful quilting projects; but they were all inspiring. First off, some samples of the quilt we learned to create at the retreat - The T Quilt: 

Jen surrounded by T Quilts and star quilts!

Barb finished a lovely batik table runner!

My work station and new "ironing pad"!  Love it!

Monica working on gifts for a new Grandson!

An Amazing Hexie Project!

More color ways for the T Quilt.  

Multiple Madness coming to town! 
Barbie's fun strip quilt for a neighbor.
All the quilters worked hard on their projects but had fun at the same time.  When people find out that I am a quilter, they often say they would love to quilt but it is too much work and they could never do that; or they don't have the patience to learn something new.  Still, it is so satisfying to work hard and have a beautiful finished project.  It's so worth the effort!  

"There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something."  ~ Henry Ford

"Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it.  People who work sincerely are the happiest."  ~ Chanakya

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

International Quilt Festival Chicago

It was a cold and snowy weekend in Chicago on April 7th through the 10th.  That worked out just fine for the quilters visiting The International Quilt Festival in Chicago which was inside at the Convention Center.  We stayed right across the street at the Embassy Suites Chicago O'Hare Rosemont.  Barb and I were with our favorite tour group, Country Heritage Tours.  We had an awesome time at the quilt show and touring Chicago in spite of the rain/snow and cold.

Below is a view from our room on the 7th floor, inside and outside.  This is where we had happy hour each evening between 5:30 and 7:30.

Free drinks for happy hour along with sparkling quilt talk!

We had two full days to visit the quilt show and browse the vendors.  So much fun!

Our wonderful tour director, Vicki, was available during the show if we needed anything!  This was my third tour with Vicki and I have to say she is there for us whenever we have any problems.  
She keeps everything organized! 

Below are some of my favorite quilts (and dresses) from the show:

It's always an adventure to travel with my dear friend Barb!

Yes indeed, the whole weekend was a party - especially with our happy hour!