|So you see where I live in relation to Julie, about 300 km (185 miles) south of me as the crow flies. We didn't take the ferry across Lake Erie, but drove around the west end of the lake and on down, about 4.5-5 hours.|
After a frenzy of hugging on Thursday, (Tish and I were finally together in person! Not on a stick! Not on FaceTime! And I'm taller than her!!! That happens but rarely, as I'm vertically challenged at just 5'2") we visited, set up, sewed for a while...
and then headed out to share a meal together at a local Mexican restaurant:
|Everyone agreed it was the best Mexican food they'd ever tasted.|
The next day we hit the road bright and early, heading into Amish Country. Julie lives just a short distance away. It's like stepping back into the 1940s or 50s. It was a glorious morning, temps headed once again to 80!
|Clockwise from top left: selfie :-); Quilt shop #1 Somewhere Sewing; Inside view of oh, maybe one quarter of the shop (and they're expanding); the group, and our purchases|
From there we drove to Berlin (say that BER-len, not the German way, Ber-LIN) to hit Zinck's Fabric Outlet before lunch (and we went back after lunch, just so you know, because it is that big and that good). This was almost tied in my "I cannot WAIT" anticipatory feelings with Millers and Zinck's: Boyd and Wurthmann for lunch!! You need to be there early, like 11:30, or you will be standing in a long line waiting to get in. If you go, and you do see a long line, do not walk away; it is 'Wurth' (ha, that just came to me) every minute waiting. I had what I had last time, grilled Swiss cheese with fries. I chose not to have pie this time (but why didn't I buy a couple of pieces to bring home??) but shared a piece of Turtle Cheesecake with MacGyver (all food is homemade from scratch, and from local ingredients). 'Wurth' every calorie, yes indeed.
Yup. For the entire roll! It will be great in charity quilts and I might be using it when I quilt up last year's Midnight Mystery as I already used it in another quilt, and am very impressed with how it quilted up.
Julie is an amazing enabler. I did not mind letting my wallet get lighter; she can point a person in the right directions to savings upon savings. And we're talking quality name brands and great designers.
Millers' Dry Goods. You may recall the story I told last year of telling Julie how I see so many Amish people in a certain area of Sarasota, and many of them handquilting in a favourite shop down there, Alma Sue's Quilts, and how one lady who works there cutting fabric, Mary, is just the sweetest and is from somewhere in Ohio...and my utter SHOCK when I walked into Millers' and who is standing there, but Mary! Totally unfazed by the coincidence, she said, "Oh yes, we get a lot of Canadians here in Charm and also down in Sarasota." Well I got to hug her with my eyes and chat for a while with her on this trip too. It was Charm Days so the entire store, ENTIRE STORE was 20% off. Including the sale section. Be still my pounding heart. It's a good thing I did not know that until I was at the checkout, or I'd be there still. And I'd have had a prolonged hotflash contemplating all the fabric that could be mine for oh, the likes of $4.80 and $4/yard after the 20% discount...No lie!!! I'm getting another hotflash just thinking of all the fibres I left behind to languish in that basement, LOL.
From Charm we headed to Fence Row Antiques in New Bedford, across country, along winding and hilly roads, with just incredible scenery. Our brains were already full to the brim, and I know Tish and I were like, man I am toast! Let's go back and pet fabric and just sew...but wait, I am SO GLAD we had Julie as our intrepid and capable host...
I found not one but two antique quilts that came home with me.
|Isn't that a great seasonal display Julie made just outside the building where we sewed?|
|fittingly photographed by Julie's antique gas pump|
|This is a block I have never seen before; I will be posting more about this quilt in the near future.|
Theresa's prices are extremely reasonable. She sells antique fabrics by the package as well for anywhere from 50c to maximum $3. She also has antique quilt blocks and many, many, many more items as you can see in the one photo. MacGyver wanted to buy the garage that all the stuff was in! He was in love with the old building. I was in love with her counter where you paid, made from an old door and fireplace mantle posts from a house (in her husband's family I believe, maybe his grandmother's?) that was built in 1840-something. It's the first photo in the collage above.
From there we headed cross-country (two bridges are under repair in the area which is why) to Raven's Glenn Winery for dinner. MacGyver and I, and I think I can speak for Tish and Dave who carpooled with us, are so very glad those bridges are out, as we just loved going the back way and seeing so much of the land that is off the beaten path of major highways.
The third and final day was spent sewing, visiting, sharing ideas and tips and tricks, and discussing our blogs over a potluck lunch: to die for chili made by Julie, homemade bread and fudge to die for made by one of her daughters, and various other shared items to sample.
We made a group quilt, something I hope we do each year from now on (yes! I want this to be the first annual event).
|Dave, Terry, Jennifer, Tish, Julie, me and Beth|
More hugs. It's hard to be really quite close, yet too far to just pop in. Each of us drove from 2 to 5 hours to get there, so not bad at all, really. So many messages have flown back and forth across the pixel-airwaves, saying, "I miss you"... Julie was an incredible host: able, cheery and peppy, and so much fun, (Energizer Bunny extraordinaire!), organized, had thought of simply everything, kept us happily occupied with not a moment of 'now what' time, promoted her area so well and so obviously from the heart that we all were, ha, pun intended, charmed by the entire three days. Thank you, Julie, from the bottom of my heart.
She and Beth had the idea to have a goody bag for each of us. We each brought a little something to put in the bags. Beth made them and oh! it was hard to choose, as all were so pretty. Here's what was inside:
So what bloggers went?
In alphabetical order:
Terry of Terry Ann Hartzell - Insights
Jennifer of The Inquiring Quilter
Beth of Cooking Up Quilts
David of Dave the Quilt Engineer
Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Julie of Pink Doxies
Each of the links will take you directly to the post on the retreat that blogger wrote, if it has been published.
Driving home...until next year... There will be another! Stay tuned.
|A typical road scene|
Cooking Up Quilts (hey!! my mini round robin got featured! Pshaw!)
Free Motion by the River (Well, another hey!!! I got featured! Well Walter 2 did! Cool!)
Sew Fresh Quilts