Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stitching and Wanderlust

We've been away again. Autumn is for wanderlust. This time we ran off to the east coast--the sunrise side, and quieter side--of our beautiful state. It was sunny and cool--just as autumn should be. We had a blast staying at a tiny cabin on Lake Huron, and hiking and biking on trails along the lake. It's an area we know almost nothing about because we always seem to gravitate to the more touristy and heavily promoted west coast. Because we were on a bay, we were able to watch both sunrise and sunset each day. What a delight! And at this time of year, we could watch the sunrise without having to get up super early. It was lovely. 

East Tawas, the town we stayed in, had--drum roll, please--a Ben Franklin!! Yay! I remember shopping at Ben Franklin when I was a kid, but there are none near our home, so this was a real treat. Years ago, I would have loitered in the craft department, or maybe candy or toys, but this time I headed straight for the fabric department. I had been looking forward to this all summer. At first, I was a little overwhelmed. There were stacks and stacks of flat folded fabric. I had to narrow my focus a bit, so I decided to buy some half-yard cuts of rainbow solid-ish prints.

And then I spotted a large floral that I just couldn't pass up. Two yards, which is more than I usually buy of one fabric. I have some ideas, but time will tell what I do with this. Isn't it fun?

In the evenings, I worked on the Hollyhocks quilt. The cabin light was dim (cozy!), but I had the foresight to bring along a little high intensity lamp, and that was just right for hand quilting. I had unquilted the parts of the leaves that bothered me, and during our trip was able to finish them with a simpler design.
I like it better. Now all the interesting parts of the quilt are done. The rest will just be background quilting for texture, but that's okay. It will be a good project for evenings this fall. 

Right after we got home from vacation, we ran away for a Saturday bike ride (also on the east side of the state) because the awesome autumn weather was hanging on, and there were predictions for rain this week. But yesterday, I did manage to finish the quilting on the Lake Michigan quilt. 
The color is off here, but low light showed the quilting the best. I used my walking foot to follow the applique'd pieces in the water and land and then did more wavy lines in the sky. Next up is the hand embroidery of the grasses in the foreground. Another evening project--or maybe a deck project if the weather's nice.

This weekend the Grands are coming and we'll be celebrating our youngest grandson's second birthday (and early Halloween). Fun, fun, fun! Next week our lives will settle down a bit, and I hope to get started on a new donation quilt. 

I'll leave you with some pictures of our most recent adventures. Of course, the first photo I took just had to be of a sewing machine we saw while touring the Tawas Point Lighthouse.
We visited the lighthouse at least four times during our trip. And every day the sky was different. A rain storm was just leaving the area when we first arrived.

Our last visit was in the pink light at sunset.

We hiked along Lake Huron and Tawas Bay.

Monarchs flitted ahead of us. The area is a gathering spot for them as they get ready to fly to Mexico. This year they were lingering longer than usual.

Sunset was gorgeous.

But the real thrill for me was sunrise over the water. 

The bike trail led along the bay,

past parks (Isn't this seagull slide cute?),

through an arboretum,
through a meadow--the ghost of a once bustling company town (The houses are long gone, but the odd configuration of trees marks where they once stood),

and along colorful roadsides.
It was everything an autumn vacation should be. A vacation with a coda! That little Saturday ride, might have been through the last of our autumn color. The leaves were falling like glitter, and this week the rain might finish off most of them. 

Okay, enough with the wanderlust. I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Hopefully, I'll have something new to share next week. 


Bernie Kringel said...

hmmmm..... where do I begin. First of all, the four lighthouse pics are gorgeous - you could easily mat them all in a collage and frame those. I love lighthouse pics and these are great.

Love the purchases at Ben Franklin. Reading this reminded me that today is the last Wednesday of the month which means 20% off anything not on sale. I will go splurge there before I pick up J from school.

Finally, I love that large floral fabric. Do you know what it is from looking at the selvage? Also, I am curious what that Ben Franklin charged for their flat folds? Mine charges $5.99/yard but I love going on the last Wednesday because then it is even less!!! Glad you had such a lovely time away.

KaHolly said...

What a wonderful trip you had! Loved the pics! And the fabrics!

Nancy Bekofske said...

How lovely to see Tawas! We visited about fifteen years ago. The photos are lovely. I am impressed that Ben Franklin is still there! I bought some things there, including a hat I still have, a woven hat made of paper not straw.

Louise said...

Oo, love that big floral! It's so bold and graphic, yet the colors are ever so slightly muted and not completely saturated. Very nice.

The lighthouse photos were my favorite in this post, with all the different skies. Fall really is the best time to travel, almost everywhere :)

Rachel said...

Very pretty rainbow fabrics! And that stormy lighthouse makes such a striking picture - great shot!

Preeti said...

Love all of your fabric acquisitions, especially the large floral. So much fun. Ben Franklin? I will go look that up.

Kaja said...

Wonderful photos, especially the sunrises/sunsets and of course the lighthouse. If that was your last bike ride, as least you made good use of the summer this year, and have bagged some lovely fabrics into the bargain.